Mary Alexander & Associates PC filed a class action lawsuit against Carnival and Princess Cruise Lines on behalf of passengers of the Grand Princess ship who allege they were exposed to the Coronavirus as a result of gross negligence by the companies that own and operate the ship. This is one of numerous COVID-19-related lawsuits that have been, and will continue to be, filed.
It has been over 100 years since the United States or any other country faced the global pandemic that is the coronavirus, a.k.a. COVID-19. The impact has been brutal, ranging from infections and death to a recession economy almost overnight.
During this time, even the courts have been impacted as the California Supreme Court shut down all courthouses in California bringing trials and many other legal proceedings to a halt. However, a number of lawsuits related to coronavirus issues have arisen, both in civil and criminal courts.
There have been those who sought to file lawsuits against the People’s Republic of China where the coronavirus initially broke out in the Wuhan province. However, suing an entire nation is not a realistic option for numerous reasons. Here is a breakdown of some of the types of coronavirus lawsuits which have cropped up over the last few weeks:
A lawyer in Brooklyn sued Governor Andrew Cuomo after he issued various shelter-in-place and lockdown orders throughout the state of New York. The man claimed his Constitutional rights were being violated due to the limitations placed by the governor.
Also in New York, the Legal Aid Society filed a lawsuit on behalf of teenagers who were kept in juvenile detention centers in the coronavirus outbreak even as other inmates were released for their own safety. These juveniles were still sharing dining rooms, bathrooms, showers and sometimes even beds in spite of the social distancing orders by the state.
On the federal level, a union representing federal employees filed a lawsuit against the government, seeking hazard pay and claiming workers were given inadequate protection against exposure to COVID-19. The class action was filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the American Federation of Government Employees seeks 25% hazardous-duty pay differential for every day these workers are required to work near infected people.
A famous restauranteur named Thomas Keller filed a lawsuit against his insurance company over coronavirus business losses. The entrepreneur, who owns such restaurants as French Laundry and Per Se, filed a lawsuit against Hartford Fire insurance Company claiming the coronavirus impact caused massive business interruption losses. He is expected to be one of millions of business owners to file such claims in the coming months.
There have also been several class action lawsuits filed against cruise lines such as Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line over how the virus spread aboard their ships, how the staff handled passing along information and more. It seems almost every year there are news stories covering how virus outbreaks, food poisoning or some other mass illness occurs on a ship in the middle of the ocean. In some of these instances, there have been massive errors that allowed COVID-19 to spread like wildfire all while passengers were kept in the dark. The firm filed its own lawsuit which you can read about here. Numerous media outlets throughout California covered the filing of this unique class action lawsuit.
There is speculation that many other types of lawsuits could be filed due to the fallout from the virus outbreak. Price gouging and hoarding lawsuits resulting from the coronavirus have already been threatened. Amazing, eBay and other online e-commerce sites have had to shut down countless accounts over price gouging accusations.
Coronavirus product defect and false claims lawsuits are also possibilities as many websites have sold products claiming to protect people from the infection. Alex Jones, a right-wing conspiracy theorist, has a site called Infowars.com from which he sold one such product which was immediately debunked. He is one of many attempting to profit off of this tragic situation.
Lastly, homeowners and renters may have potential lawsuits relating to the eviction moratorium ordered by various governors and mayors. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a stay on all evictions through the end of May. As this order stays in place, should any landlords seek to violate this they could very well end up in court against massive numbers of tenants.