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Covid 19 Legal Liability Updates

5/29/20

With only a small threat of money sanctions in place by the courts to dissuade frivolous lawsuits, anyone can sue for anything at any time. An employer can be held liable for tortious claims (usually negligent) where an employee during the "scope of his/her employment" injures a patron. Here is a link to an old case back in Iowa that ruled in favor of the employer, but a good study on how easily a claim may be brought.

Court Decides Two Employer-Liability Cases

           - Source, Iowa State University

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5/20/20

Recently passed House Legislation is demanding a Temporary Emergency Standard to be adopted by OSHA in light of COVID 19. Click HERE to find out what is is advised of employers to avoid any Employer Liability Suits.

              -Source, Steptoe and Johnson, PLLC

 

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5/12/20

What is the difference between a "Governmental Act" and a "Proprietary Act?" How does Sovereign Immunity apply differently from state to state? Here is some helpful information regarding tort claims against, local, state and the federal government. 

               - Source, MATTHIESEN, WICKERT & LEHRER, S.C.

 

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5/8/20

How do the new OSHA guidelines affect employers preparing to return their employees to the work force? What guidelines are already in place that you should be aware of? Do facemasks count as PPE?

These questions are answered and a Map for Returning to the Workforce are found here.

         Source, Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC.

 

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5/6/20

“An Amazon Vice President Quit Over Firings of Employees Who Protested”

-The New York Times

“Corporate America seeks legal protection for when coronavirus lockdowns lift”

-Reuters

“If you get sick with COVID-19, is your employer liable? As businesses prepare to reopen, worker safety is a priority.”

                -Chicago Tribune

These are a few national headlines this week. I’m sure your company is well aware of the conversations employers are having in the pursuit of legal immunity from employees claiming unsafe work conditions through exposure to Covid-19. The main question in these tort cases will be, “Did the employer take reasonable care to prevent exposure to the virus?”

Let’s face it, with only a small threat of money sanctions in place by the courts to dissuade frivolous lawsuits, anyone can sue for anything at any time. This means a cresting wave of litigation is on the horizon. Before litigation comes investigation and that is where we come in. If the employees of your client base file suit for negligence, our dedicated Liability Division is prepared to review the Employer Liability policy language, take recorded statements and follow your established pattern and process. They are conditioned to conduct the thorough, nonbiased investigations needed whenever a claim is submitted. We are here as an extension of your Liability team to field what may be larger than average claim volume.

Thank you for your continued partnership. Please let us know how we can help.

For a link to the Employment Law Alliance's presentation on Preparing the Workplace for Covid -19 and the latest OSHA Regulations, click here.