The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet. As it continues to spread, with new cases spiking across the country, many people find themselves entrenched in related legal battles. COVID-19 lawsuits pertaining to business interruptions, false advertising, price gouging, employment contracts, negligence and more continue coming to light. As the number of total coronavirus cases in the US climbs to three million, courthouses are expecting even more lawsuits in the coming months.
Lawsuits Against China
Many attorneys and others have debated the responsibility of the Chinese government in bringing about and failing to contain the novel coronavirus. This has led to over a dozen different lawsuits filed against the Chinese Communist Party and affiliated entities alleging their accountability for the virus. Most of these lawsuits are valid despite sovereign immunity laws because they allege the defendant’s negligence or tort. Although the future of these suits remains unclear due to a web of potential legal issues, plaintiffs and their lawyers are hopeful in their pursuit of justice.
Most businesses had to drastically change the way they operate on extremely short notice. This led to many failures, problems and breaches of duty of care by hundreds of employers. Now, injured, ill and wronged employees are seeking restitution through litigation. Some of the most common employment lawsuits related to COVID-19 are workers’ compensation claims, failed service contracts, inadequate provision of personal protection equipment, improper employee protection and personal injuries caused by negligence. If an employee believes his or her employer put workers at an undue risk of contracting the coronavirus, a lawsuit could hold the company accountable.
Business Interruption Loss Claims
Businesses are dealing with their own issues related to COVID-19 – particularly, losses in income and profitability due to shutdowns. Forced closures of nonessential businesses and stay-at-home orders in many states led to significant drops in the profits of small businesses. Many business owners turned to their business interruption insurance providers for benefits only to receive denials based on policy exclusions. These businesses may be able to pursue their claims through litigation if the insurance company does not have the right to deny them.
Price Gouging and False Advertising
Many consumers have come forward with lawsuits regarding illegal and unethical practices by businesses under emergency declarations. There are certain things a company cannot do during emergency conditions in the US. These include violating trademarks, selling fake goods, increasing prices (price gouging), misrepresenting facts, advertising false information and committing consumer fraud.
Thousands of companies took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to con consumers and make money from their panic. Examples include large corporations such as Walmart, Amazon and eBay increasing their prices on high-demand goods such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Other companies and individuals made a profit based on false advertising, such as alleging that a mask filters out the virus when it does not. Affected consumers are now defending their rights by bringing lawsuits against negligent and criminal companies for their torts.
Failure to Refund
Millions of people had their events canceled because of the virus. Some entertainment venues and travel agencies, however, are refusing to issue refunds. One major lawsuit, for example, has come out against SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment for refusing to provide park pass refunds after shutting down its parks due to COVID-19. Another lawsuit exists against Frontier Airlines for failing to refund ticketed passengers for canceled trips.
Do You Need Assistance With a COVID-19 Lawsuit?
Do not wait to contact an attorney about a possible lawsuit related to the coronavirus pandemic. Courthouses throughout the US have continued accepting new lawsuits virtually and electronically. Whether you have a case concerning your business, family, employer, wages, a recent purchase or your individual safety, a lawyer can help you understand your rights and possibly file a lawsuit. One or more parties may owe you compensation for torts during the COVID-19 pandemic.