One of the first reports of multiple Americans affected by the novel coronavirus came from an unexpected spot: a cruise ship. Though sick passengers were sent to quarantine, the virus spread quickly through the vessel’s population, resulting in many cases of serious illness and even some fatalities. This tragic scenario was repeated on more than one cruise ship, and affected travelers from many countries.
For those who were infected in a comparable situation, we may be able to offer a legal remedy. Businesses have an obligation to keep customers safe, as do “common carriers,” or transportation companies. If management decisions lead to conditions that encourage the novel coronavirus to propagate, the company can be held liable for any related diagnoses.
COVID-19 can cause people to miss weeks or even months of work and, in some cases, to need emergency room treatment. Talk to our team to see if you might be eligible to receive compensation for any such losses caused by the novel coronavirus.
Monge & Associates is available 24/7 at (800) 860-8021. Our Atlanta team is here to help you hold negligent businesses accountable.
Coronavirus Spread on Common Carriers
With recommendations across the board to limit travel, airlines, trains, and the like saw an immense drop in passengers as Americans realized how serious the novel coronavirus was. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, many of these companies acted as if it was business as usual. With cruise ships boarding passengers without screening and failing to sanitize ships after infected travelers debarked, the emphasis was clearly on profit rather than consumer safety.
Cruise ships were the worst offenders, but other confined spaces including airplanes, trains, and subways, could foster new cases as well. In the past, airplanes have spawned clusters of flu and SARS infections (the novel coronavirus is known as SARS-CoV-2). Aside from passengers sitting close enough to spread infectious droplets and being packed in together for extended periods, flight attendants may become infected if they’re in contact with a sick passenger. This could endanger almost everyone on a plane. While other forms of transit have less interaction between staff and passengers, they lack planes’ HEPA-grade air filtering. Even if riders manage to maintain some social distancing, a passenger without a mask could infect others with an ill-timed sneeze.
Now that months have passed since the first COVID-19 infections were detected, transportation companies have come up with new processes and rules to keep passengers safe. However, such policies are no good unless they are strictly enforced. Any company that lapses in implementing such rules could be held liable if unsafe conditions lead to the spread of infection.
Infection in Stores, Restaurants, and Other Businesses
Georgia has been gradually allowing businesses to re-open, with strict safety requirements. Some bosses and managers have been going above and beyond to make their staff and customers feel safe. There will unfortunately be companies that deviate in the other direction, putting both workers and consumers at risk. Anyone who catches COVID-19 as a visitor and/or consumer at an irresponsible company might be able to file a lawsuit.
When considering whether a business can be held liable for a case of infectious disease, courts may look at:
- Whether reasonable precautions were taken
- The business’ compliance with laws, both at the state and local level
- Whether the efforts taken by the business matched industry standards
Because the novel coronavirus has such a long incubation period, it may be difficult for consumers to prove they were infected at one specific place. However, if you think you have a claim, our attorneys want to talk to you.
Compensation for COVID-19 Infections
If you decide to file a lawsuit for damages caused by the novel coronavirus, you might be able to collect:
- Lost wages
- Medical costs
- Future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
Even relatively minor cases of the virus can put patients out of commission for weeks. Many have also reported symptoms of post-viral fatigue or other complications that may have impacts for years to come. Anyone in this situation deserves a representative to help them challenge the company whose negligence caused the infection. Our team is ready to review your case and provide legal advice.
Call us for a free consultation at (800) 860-8021. We are currently offering consultations via phone and email for your safety and ours.