Suits against cruise line signal start of litigation over coronavirus

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Lawsuits alleging negligence by Princess Cruises for failing to warn about the possibility of contracting the coronavirus are part of what likely will be a multitude of COVID-19 related litigation, a tort reform advocate says, writes Sarah Downey for the Northern California Record.

“The cruise line lawsuits being filed are just the first in what will likely be a tidal wave of litigation in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic,” Bailey Griffith, public affairs manager for the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA), said in an email response to the Northern California Record.

“Already, we’ve seen class action lawsuits filed against manufacturers of hand sanitizer. We have two big areas of concern with regard to who trial lawyers may target next. First, the healthcare workers and hospitals who lack supplies and are working to prioritize care within an overstressed system; second, the manufacturers who are rapidly shifting their businesses to create the products needed to fight this virus. Thankfully, there are solutions to protect each of these groups through legislative action like we saw with the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, or by executive order like we saw last week with Gov. Cuomo in New Yorkand now this week by Gov. Pritzker in Illinois.”

The executive orders seek to shield health care personnel from negligence litigation.

“ATRA is committed to working toward solutions with our elected leaders to ensure that frontline heroes don’t become the next target of trial lawyers who would take advantage of a public health crisis,” Griffith added.

Read more in the Northern California Record…

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