Do you have a claim against a business or nursing home if you contract COVID-19?

Fenters Ward is prosecuting these cases and tracking developments nation-wide for you. 
I’m Attorney Josh Ward.  For those who don’t know our law firm represents Pennsylvanians who are injured, and consumers that are harmed by predatory businesses. 

Physical Injuries Related to COVID-19

One of the biggest legal questions right now is: what are your rights if you contract the virus when a business forces you to be in close contact?  Some of the most common cases will involve employers, and people under medical or nursing home care. 

First, let’s talk about employers. Now, it is common knowledge that anyone who can prove they contracted COVID-19 at work can recover under Worker’s Compensation.  But that system limits the amount of money a person can recover. 

The recoveries may be much larger outside of the Worker’s Compensation system.  In order to do that, you must prove the employer’s actions were ‘wanton’, ‘willful’ or ‘reckless’, which is a higher burden than an ordinary negligence case.  

Toney Evans v. Walmart Inc., et al 

On April 6, 2020, in one of the first lawsuits of its kind, the family of a deceased employee of a Walmart Supercenter filed suit against Walmart for wrongful death. The case is Toney Evans v. Walmart, Inc., et al.  Here is a link to a Law360 article and copy of the Complaint, which sets forth the allegations against Walmart.

Ultimately, it not certain whether employers like Walmart will be liable.  The chances of success in any given case depends on the unique facts of that case.  

At Fenters Ward we are eager to take on COVID-19 related issues for Pennsylvanians. We will be monitoring these issues nation-wide, and here in Pennsylvania as they develop.

Secondly, we have received complaints regarding local nursing homes.  If nursing home staff are not providing the appropriate level of care, sanitation, and social distancing measures, they may be liable to those individuals who contract COVID-19. 

Under the law, the mere fact that someone contracts COVID-19 does not mean that the care-providers are liable.  But they could be liable in cases where the home was understaffed, or careless in responding to this virus.  There is no need to prove ‘recklessness’ only mere ‘negligence’ which is a legal term for carelessness. 

If you think you may have claim you should contact a lawyer to preserve your rights. It is unwise to navigate these issues on your own.  

Be aware, although the courts are closed, the time limitations to file a claim are still in place. Do not delay in contacting an attorney. Call our law firm at 412-545-3016. Let us win your next fight.

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