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Can I sue a business for exposing me to coronavirus?

Posted on October 14, 2020

Some states and the federal government are considering protections that will make it difficult for anyone to sue a business for coronavirus exposure. Legislators worry that such litigation would further damage vulnerable businesses and delay economic recovery, according to a recent article.

The article highlights the “Safe to Work” bill introduced in July by a Texas senator. The bill would require plaintiffs to provide "clear and convincing evidence that a business was not making reasonable efforts to comply with the government's coronavirus safety regulations and was engaged in gross negligence or willful misconduct.” Plaintiffs would also have to demonstrate why other businesses they visited in a two-week period prior to their illness did not contribute to coronavirus exposure.

Similar legislation in Wisconsin would offer premises protection to businesses and educational institutions. Georgia, too, is one of at least 12 states considering legislation a “liability shield” for healthcare services and businesses, according to an article in JDSupra. The Pandemic Business Safety Act would allow lawsuits only in the case of “gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm or intentional infliction of harm.” With broad language, the act leaves plenty of room for interpretation and stipulates that any potential claimant assumed the risk upon entering the premises.

Opponents of the legislation claim that such decrees would allow businesses to endanger people without consequences.

If you believe you have an instance where you were injured in a business or facility where negligence played a factor, it may be best to consult with an experienced premises liability attorney in Philadelphia to discuss the details and see if you have a case. Please contact us to set a convenient time to speak.