Rapid Response for Catastrophic Accidents Only

Premises Liability

Efforts to Obtain Immunity from COVID-19 Exposure Claims

May 18, 2020
By: Jacqueline E. Campbell and Zoe A. Otway

FHMS has been actively monitoring the efforts to provide essential businesses with immunity from COVID-19 exposure claims. This article discusses the immunity laws that have been enacted to date and an overview of what was discussed during the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on same. The full article can be accessed through the linked title above.

 

PA and NJ Guidance for Supermarkets in Defending Customer Exposure Claims

May 15, 2020
By: Joseph F. McNulty, Lee H. Eckell, John R. Keiser, Jr., and Patrick Brennan

This article provides an in-depth look at the federal and state guidance applicable to supermarkets in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, how a third-party exposure claim may arise, relevant legislative actions, and recommendations to assist stores in defending these claims. The full article can be accessed through the linked title above.

 

PA’S First Lawsuit for Wrongful Death Related to COVID-19 Exposure

May 8, 2020
By: Gregory S. Hirtzel, Jacqueline E. Campell and Matthew D. Vodzak

On May 7, 2020, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed in Philadelphia County, claiming that the decedent was exposed to COVID-19. This is the first COVID-19 exposure case in Pennsylvania. We previously reported on a similar case filed in Illinois for the death of a Walmart employee, and a case was recently filed in Texas by a worker in a meat producing plant. COVID-19 exposure cases have been filed against cruise lines and nursing homes. However, the Illinois, Texas, and now Philadelphia, cases are against the life-sustaining businesses that remained open during the pandemic.

Partners Gregory Hirtzel, Jacqueline Campbell and Matthew Vodzak discusses the first lawsuit for wrongful death in PA, the challenges that may arise based on venue, jurisdiction, the relationship between the corporate entities, and causation. The full article can be accessed through the linked title above.

 

COVID-19 Litigation: How to Prepare for COVID-19 Claims from Employees and Customers

April 22, 2020
By: Jacqueline E. Campbell and Zoe A. Otway

FHMS has been closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the various orders and guidance issued by our local, state and federal governments.

While many businesses were forced to close, our supermarkets, retail stores, restaurants, hotels, delivery services, property managers, trash haulers, transportation companies, and other life-sustaining businesses remained open. The employees of those businesses have bravely supported the needs of their communities by, among many things, providing food and drink, filling medications, stocking shelves, transporting goods, hauling refuse, and making deliveries. Those companies, small and large, have been forced to adapt to the quickly changing environment.

In addition to this new way of living, we will likely have to navigate a new area of tort law involving COVID-19 exposure claims and other related claims. We anticipate that the scope of the businesses and industries impacted by these potential claims will expand as closure orders are lifted. One thing for certain, is that we will see these claims. Such claims have been filed in other states, and there has already been a flurry of class action lawsuits related to COVID-19.

Partner, Jacqueline E. Campbell and Zoe A. Otway from FHMS’s Casualty Department issued an article discussing the potential claims of COVID-19 exposure, how to prepare, and efforts to obtain immunity. The full article can be accessed through the linked title above.