Families of employees across the country are starting to file the first wave of COVID-19 lawsuits against companies. Employees’ families have alleged that their loved ones contracted lethal cases of COVID-19 at the workplace. Walmart Inc., Safeway Inc., Tyson Foods, and some healthcare facilities were sued for gross negligence or wrongful death.
Employees’ families argue that the companies failed to protect workers from coronavirus and should compensate family members as a result of their loss. Workers that contracted COVID-19 but survived are suing companies to compensate medical bills, future earnings and other damages.
Companies that have responded to lawsuits contend that they took steps to combat the coronavirus, such as screening workers for signs of illness, requiring workers to wear face masks, sanitizing workspaces, and limiting the number of customers inside the store at once. Additionally, some companies are arguing that it is impossible to know where or how their employees contracted COVID-19.
As more businesses open their doors in lieu of loosening restrictions across the country, the number of workers that contract COVID-19 in the workplace is likely to increase. The new coronavirus relief bill proposed by Senate Republicans would make it harder for workers to sue their employers if they got sick on the job, protecting companies, schools and churches from being held liable for COVID-19 infections.
While these cases will be difficult to navigate, early lawsuits on behalf of sickened workers center on whether employers adhered to state and federal guidelines for reducing the spread of the virus. For example, employers who did not send sick employees home, enforce social distancing, or adhere to mask-wearing guidance could be found liable.
If you or a loved one contracted COVID-19 at the workplace and suffered as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact one of our experienced attorneys today to discuss your situation. Though we are still limiting face-to-face interaction at our office, our staff is available to speak with you over the phone, through email or text, and on video chat.