One question we’ve been hearing in the news is if cruise ships, hospitals, and other individuals can be held accountable for passing along the coronavirus from one person to another. At this time, the pandemic is so widespread that it seems unlikely that a court would accept a case suing another individual for passing along coronavirus. However, it may be different in regard to businesses that have shown gross negligence in the face of this pandemic.
As we are learning more and more about the virus every day, it may be quite easy to prove that the first cruise ships were unaware of how to handle and cease the spread of the virus. As long as they took all reasonable measures to prevent the spread, you most likely won’t have a case. It wasn’t negligence on their part, as they’re were operating as normal and this pandemic has spread to uncharted territories. There were no protocols they missed and nothing that they did knowingly wrong in their situations.
However, if you were on not one of the first cruise ships that widely spread coronavirus, but on one of the later ships, there may have been some negligence on the part of the cruise line. They may have already experienced the same issue previously and could have potentially changed their procedures to account for the virus. It may be difficult to prove, but have a trusted, experienced attorney on your side can help.
Secondly, if you were a patient or a visitor at a hospital, and then fell ill with the virus, it can be quite difficult to prove that you received the virus due to their negligence. If you were under their care the entire time, it may be worth exploring a case if you believe you contracted the virus due to their gross negligence.
On the other hand, if you work for a hospital or other health institution that has requested you to care for coronavirus patients, but they did not supply you with proper requirements (gloves, masks, etc.) to care for your patients without transmitting the disease, there is a potential you could sue your workplace for gross negligence.
Lastly, since this is such an unknown area of the law right now, it could be entirely possible for the courts to label the coronavirus as an ‘act of God’. This is defined as “a natural catastrophe which no one can prevent such as an earthquake, a tidal wave, a volcanic eruption, a hurricane or a tornado. Acts of God are significant for two reasons 1) for the havoc and damage they wreak, and 2) because often contracts state that "acts of God" are an excuse for delay or failure to fulfill a commitment or to complete a construction project.” It will simply take time to see how these cases pan out in court.
If you or someone you know was recently injured, contact Loscalzo & Loscalzo, P.C. at (646) 846-4776 to discuss your case with one of our personal injury attorneys today.