The Spread of COVID-19 Lawsuits
The COVID-19 pandemic has, without a doubt, changed the world and how we all interact within it. COVID-19 already has and will likely continue to impact our daily lives and bring dramatic change to many aspects of life for the foreseeable future.
One perhaps not unexpected consequence of COVID-19 has been the influx of legal cases revolving around the actions and inactions of individuals and corporations with respect to pandemic measures. COVID-19 related lawsuits have already begun and many legal experts have opined that they are not likely to end anytime soon.
So, what kinds of COVID-19 related things are people suing each other about? Here are a few examples from across North America:
- In New York, a union representing more than 8,000 corrections officers has sued the city of New York claiming that the city needs to provide prison guards with face masks and hand sanitizer to keep them safe from COVID-19. The union has also claimed that the city needs to start testing staff for COVID-19.
- A Florida couple who were on board a Grand Princess cruise ship during a COVID-19 outbreak have sued the ship’s operator for more than $1 million, claiming that the company lacked proper screening protocols to protect passengers from getting sick.
- In Toronto, a restaurateur, Mr. Hemant Bhagwani, has claimed that he paid over $5 million in insurance premiums, which included business interruption coverage, to cover his numerous restaurants. However, his insurance company denied his claim for coverage of losses sustained by closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, Mr. Bhagwani has now sued his insurance company, claiming a breach of policy.
- In British Columbia, a class action lawsuit was launched against several major Canadian airlines and travel companies over their decision to issue credits and vouchers instead of refunds for flights and vacations cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Closer to home, in Calgary, a class action lawsuit was filed in May 2020 against Revera Inc., the company that operates McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre in Calgary, where a fatal COVID-19 outbreak occurred. The lawsuit focuses on the long-term care facility’s failure to mitigate COVID-19 in their McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre.