Mitch Daniels

Bulk VanderHuge

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That is a discussion the country should have, but my concern would be companies using immunity to intentionally fail to do due diligence. No need to buy masks for workers, we have immunity.

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UncleMark

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I will let the lawyers answer, but if you Google "can my business be sued for covid" you will find a lot of law firms saying "probably". Largely speaking you cannot put people in harm even if the know the risk. A prime example are mines, just telling miners there is no safety equipment does not mean they or their estates cannot sue you.
<obligatory>
Anyone can be sued for anything. Collecting is the question.
</obligatory>
 

UncleMark

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That is a discussion the country should have, but my concern would be companies using immunity to intentionally fail to do due diligence. No need to buy masks for workers, we have immunity.
It would be damn near impossible for a plaintiff to prove where the transmission took place.
 

Marvin the Martian

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<obligatory>
Anyone can be sued for anything. Collecting is the question.
</obligatory>

True, but I suspect for many businesses and universities, the bad press of being a known hotspot is an even bigger fear.

We will know soon about universities, Liberty is already being sued for staying open.
 

Marvin the Martian

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It would be damn near impossible for a plaintiff to prove where the transmission took place.

Contact tracing if more than 1 person is infected. If four people get infected and they all ate at McDonalds at noon on Tuesday bit appear to have no other connection, I bet a jury would consider that link.
 

Sope Creek

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That is a discussion the country should have, but my concern would be companies using immunity to intentionally fail to do due diligence. No need to buy masks for workers, we have immunity.
Yes. It's a cost containment provision, and just one of the costs contained is the potential for liability. Businesses would much prefer to know what fine they'll have so they can make a P&L decision about whether to engage in specific prophylactic activities that you and I might reasonably expect.

BTW, how would one determine the extent of liability from which the business is immune? Would there be a presumption of liability that could be rebutted by the business proving that the harm fell within a narrow COVID-19 exception, or would there be a broad immunity that would require plaintiffs to prove that COVID-19 didn't cause their conditions complained of?
 
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Sope Creek

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<obligatory>
Anyone can be sued for anything. Collecting is the question.
</obligatory>
Ennnhhh . . . you gotta win before you can collect.

The old saw about law school is that

The first year you learn whether you can sue (probably);
The second year you learn whether you can win (maybe); and
The third year you learn whether you can collect (doubtful with most defendants).
 

UncleMark

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The first year you learn whether you can sue (probably);
The second year you learn whether you can win (maybe); and
The third year you learn whether you can collect (doubtful with most defendants).
And when you hang out your shingle you learn that years two and three don't matter -- just take the settlement offer.
 

Marvin the Martian

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I see Kroger now requires employees to wear masks, that should have happened weeks ago. They ask customers to, they should require it of customers.

Corporate America is way too slow to change.
 
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Sope Creek

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And when you hang out your shingle you learn that years two and three don't matter -- just take the settlement offer.
Maybe . . . it depends . . .

. . . if the offer acknowledges the merits of the case and your client is reasonable about those merits, then probably . . .

. . . but there ain't gonna be any offers if there's COVID-19 immunity from liability.
 

Sope Creek

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I see Kroger now requires employees to wear masks, that should have happened weeks ago. They ask customers to, they should require it of customers.

Corporate America is way too slow to change.
I was in a Krogers yesterday morning. A guy stacking shelves with toilet paper took his mask down to talk to me after I greeted him with a 'hello'. I stepped back and he put his mask back up.

He complained that he didn't think he could "do this" much longer, and he'd heard that social distancing could go on for another 18 months. He appeared burdened by this. I wondered why he was burdened, but went about my business instead of asking him . . . .
 
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UncleMark

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I see Kroger now requires employees to wear masks, that should have happened weeks ago. They ask customers to, they should require it of customers.

Corporate America is way too slow to change.
ICBW, but early on there was an issue of supply. Kroger didn't want to be seen as taking masks away from health care providers, so didn't want to supply them. Employees were allowed to provide and wear their own, but Kroger couldn't mandate them without supplying them.
 

Marvin the Martian

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I was in a Krogers yesterday morning. A guy stacking shelves with toilet paper took his mask down to talk to me after I greeted him with a 'hello'. I stepped back and he put his mask back up.

He complained that he didn't think he could "do this" much longer, and he'd heard that social distancing could go on for another 18 months. He appeared burdened by this. I wondered why he was burdened, but went about my business instead of asking him . . . .

There has to be a fear of getting it. Wearing a non-n95 mask provides only slight protection from a carrier. If both the carrier and others have masks, it seems the protection is much better.

It has to be hard to go home every night thinking you might have it and might be infecting one's family.

Of course his reason may be completely different.
 

UncleMark

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He complained that he didn't think he could "do this" much longer, and he'd heard that social distancing could go on for another 18 months. He appeared burdened by this. I wondered why he was burdened, but went about my business instead of asking him . . . .
I can understand. Not sure burden is the word, but there's a certain sort of despondency that's creeping in, at least for me. No sports, no restaurants, no fellowship meetings... I've never been much of a "social animal", but this shit is getting really fvcking old. My backroads country drives are taking me further and further afield. At least gas is cheap.
 

UncleMark

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Not always necessary to prove that the way you wrote it. Read the asbestos cases and the Monsanto/Roundup cases.
IANAL, but I don't think product liability precedents would have any bearing in what we've been discussing.