Can you sue for getting coronavirus at reopened business? This fight may kill new stimulus checks
Sunday, May 24, 2020

If you were infected by the coronavirus after returning to work, could you sue your employer? What if you got sick after eating out or going to a store?…
Opponents of such liability protections said such limits could have the opposite effect. Their argument: Employees and customers may stay away from businesses they feel aren’t taking the necessary steps to protect them since there will no longer be any consequences for failing to do so.
“If your goal is economic recovery, the last thing you want to do is create a situation where businesses are not accountable for safety,” said Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School. "We need public confidence to get people to come back into establishments."
Without the threat of a lawsuit, some companies will reopen without proper safeguards, endangering workers and customers, said Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12th Dist., a member of the House Appropriations Committee.
“For employers that employ the protective measures we think are minimally required to keep employees safe, that indemnity issue is not an issue we need to focus on," she said. “What we need to focus on is that people who show up to work are protected.”
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York said Tuesday that the Democrats haven’t ruled out some kind of targeted legal protections for businesses, similar to those provided after 9/11. He said the House Judiciary Committee would consider the issue.…
“Businesses are constantly pressing to erode accountability,” said Kevin Costello, a partner in the law firm of Costello & Mains in Mount Laurel and president of the New Jersey Association of Justice. “We shouldn’t be tying economic and other relief that’s needed to immunity and lack of accountability for business.”
“It’s opportunistic and cynical,” he said.
Doroshow said the type of lawsuits businesses insist they need protection against just aren’t going to happen. She said lawyers won’t waste their time suing a business for infecting a client when that person also has gone shopping, met friends, bought food and perhaps rode the subway.
“No lawyer is going to take that case,” she said.
Bracken said he’s not talking about granting blanket protections against lawsuits, just the assurance that if businesses follow government-approved guidelines, they won’t be liable if someone gets the coronavirus, he said.
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