Everyone is anxiously awaiting news about immunity when it comes to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Whether it’s herd immunity through exposure, individual immunity among those with antibodies present in their systems or a reliable vaccine, immunity is on everyone’s minds. But many business owners and employers are worried about another type of immunity. If they open back up, welcoming back both their workers and their customers, will they be liable to crippling lawsuits when (not if) some of those people wind up contracting the disease? If so, the price of reopening may wind up taking them out of the market permanently.
That’s the issue being taken up in state legislatures around the country right now. And many businesses and other entities are already asking employees and customers to sign waivers freeing them of such liability in the event of someone contracting COVID-19 on their property. So is this a sensible and responsible approach or are we cutting off the rights of those who might fall ill (or worse) while going about their normal routines? (Associated Press)
As businesses reopen across the U.S. after coronavirus shutdowns, many are requiring customers and workers to sign forms saying they won’t sue if they catch COVID-19.
Businesses fear they could be the target of litigation even if they adhere to safety precautions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health officials. But workers’ rights groups say the forms force employees to sign away their rights should they get sick.
The liability waivers, similar to what President Donald Trump’s campaign is requiring for people to attend a Saturday rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, would protect businesses in states that don’t have liability limits or immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits.