NATIONAL CORONAVIRUS LAWYERS
The peak of the COVID-19 outbreak was certainly no time to talk about legal responsibility. Instead, it was a time to focus on short term and long-term health. Simple precautions, like frequent handwashing and avoiding unnecessary travel, make a big difference. Focusing on things like exercise and nutrition makes your body more resistant to the next illness outbreak.
But eventually, legal responsibility has to be addressed. If the outbreak began in the United States, there would probably be a fact-finding commission and a financial compensation system for victims. However, since the outbreak started overseas, these things might not happen.
Marie Napoli talks about COVID-19 and your rights on Law & Crime Trial Network
That’s where the aggressive New York coronavirus lawyers at Napoli Shkolnik step in. Our attorneys are not afraid to take on big companies and ask tough questions. Furthermore, we fight for compensation if you contracted an illness because of someone else’s negligence. There is an old saying in the law that where there is a wrong, there is a remedy. At Napoli Shkolnik, we live by that maxim.
DO YOU SUSPECT YOUR LOVED ONE(S) PASSED AWAY FROM COVID-19?
A recent report by NY State Attorney General Letitia James released findings that nursing home deaths may have been underreported by up to 50%. The report investigates the Empire State's March 25 Policy of recovering COVID-19 patients being released to nursing facilities. This contentious policy could have lead to increased outbreaks and deaths.
Increased risks for illnesses for nursing home residents were also exacerbated by a lack of infection controls, the report found. The Department of Health also stated that not all nursing homes complied by state protocols and violated executive orders such as requiring facilities to inform families in "real time" when a COVID-19 infection or death occurred at their location.
Infections in Public Areas
Generally, falls and drownings are the worst risks on cruise ships. But when a large number of people stay in a relatively small area for long periods of time in the midst of a contagious disease outbreak, the outcome could be tragic. Add a few stops at a few foreign ports of call, and things could get even worse. Other places where large numbers of people gather include airports, churches, hospital/physician waiting areas, and restaurants.
Generally, these places have a duty of reasonable care to protect invitees from injury and illness. Invitees are individuals who have express or implied permission to be on the property (e.g. a dinner invitation or an “open for business” sign). And, their presence benefits the owner in a financial or nonfinancial way.
There are no hard-and-fast standards for coronavirus prevention. However, at a minimum, these places should take some precautions against infection, such as:
- Minimizing potential exposure,
- Managing and monitoring ill workers, including isolation when necessary,
- Implementing standard health precautions, such as frequent hand sanitizer use,
- Limiting the use of air fresheners or other aerosols,
- Frequently desanitizing surfaces,
- Managing visitor movement and access,
- Actively monitoring developments, and
- Adopting engineering controls, such as advanced air filters.
Additionally, as soon as a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, all workers should receive proper treatment.
Legally, if the property owner had a duty of care and a breach of that duty caused injury, the property owner could be liable for damages.
Illness at Work
Roughly these same principles apply at work. Employers have a duty to provide safe environments for their employees. That duty usually includes taking the aforementioned precautions.
Workers’ compensation claims are different from negligence claims. Injured workers need not prove fault to obtain compensation for:
- Lost Wages: Victims with temporary disabilities usually receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage until they are cleared to return to work. If the victim was killed or permanently disabled, a lump-sum payment might be available.
- Medical Bills: Workers’ compensation also covers all reasonably necessary medical bills. That includes things like expensive coronavirus tests.
The victim must also establish that the illness occurred at work as opposed to somewhere else. Evidence on this point includes lack of employer precautions and multiple illnesses in the same area.
China’s possible responsibility is the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about. But the New York coronavirus attorneys at Napoli Law will do what it takes to get to the bottom of things.
Little is known about how the virus started. There is talk about a laboratory accident in Wuhan. That could be empty talk, or it could have some factual basis. We do know that, in late 2019, police arrested several scientists who had predicted an outbreak. These officers told these scientists to stop talking about the issue, and it’s safe to assume they did not ask politely.
At any rate, the Chinese government will probably not investigate this issue. At Napoli Law, our New York coronavirus attorneys do more than obtain compensation for illness victims. We also obtain justice for these individuals.
Legal action against a foreign country is not easy. There are a number of very large procedural hurdles. However, once our professional team jumps over these hurdles, such a case might settle rather quickly. The last thing the Chinese government wants is a team of diligent New York coronavirus attorneys conducting an investigation.
As COVID-19 began spreading, stocks began falling, largely due to fears of a global economic slowdown. The impact has been especially hard on the normally reliable insurance industry. These companies must deal with income losses as they make large payments to sports leagues and other groups which cancelled events.
Generally, stockbrokers have a fiduciary duty toward their clients. If brokers failed to take illness-related precautions to protect their clients’ money, they could be legally responsible for these losses.
If you or a loved one was injured due to someone else’s negligence, you can count on the experienced New York coronavirus attorneys at Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC. We routinely handle mass torts on a nationwide basis.