As states across the country ease out of COVID-19 restrictions, many state legislatures are passing laws to protect businesses from COVID-19 liability. Various chambers of commerce and pro-business groups across the country have been proponents of such protections and have pushed their state legislatures to pass laws to protect businesses. So far 30 states have enacted statutes that provide businesses some type of shield against COVID-19 liability suits.
Two COVID-19 vaccines have been submitted for approval to the Food and Drug Administration. While this is an important step towards bringing the pandemic under control, the vaccine’s efficacy is limited unless an overwhelming majority of the population is vaccinated. Current polling suggests that only a slim majority of people would choose to receive the vaccine. So, if large numbers of people are unwilling to receive the vaccine, what’s next? Can the government make vaccination mandatory? Established case law demonstrate that it’s legally feasible, but whether lawmakers choose to pursue such legislation is an entirely different question in the current political atmosphere.
As a citizen, RDM member Dyanna Ballou wants an effective vaccine as quickly as possible. As a lawyer, she wonders what litigation will inevitably follow with claims that approvals were rushed or wrong.
A new trend relating to COVID-19 lawsuits is emerging. Employers are now facing lawsuits for “Take Home” infections.
RDM associate Alison McCourt recently attended the National Asbestos Litigation Conference where presenters discussed how potential jurors’ experience with COVID-19 might affect their perception of evidence presented in asbestos cases. The conference also focused on how different jurisdictions are handling jury trials by Zoom and the novel obstacles that people are facing while trying to navigate these trials during this unprecedented time.