Covid-19 Virus creates new litigation

This pandemic is expected to have a significant number of litigations arising from the virus. Litigations will involve how both businesses and governments handled the crisis. Already an initial group of litigation filings is beginning to move through the courts. The rulings the courts make on this initial group could drastically alter the landscape of further litigations and significantly affect the insurance industry, premiums for businesses, and how businesses and governments handle a crisis like this in the future. The lawsuits involve firms across the spectrum, from Airlines and Care Facilities. to Universities, Local and state governments, in addition to foreign governments.

States like Missouri and Mississippi have joined in several class-action lawsuits against China (Beijing); however, since foreign states are granted legal immunity from domestic lawsuits, it is undetermined if these suits will have any real impact.

Other suits involved traveler refunds for airlines or cruises, with the travel industry shocked by the loss of revenue, many are only offered credit and not actual refunds.

Care facilities had seen the most significant number of deaths, and there are expected to be substantial suits regarding this loss of life.

Universities and Colleges have offered online courses to bridge the education gap caused by the cancellation of classes. However, many attending more prestigious institutes pay high tuition to participate in these schools. Not being provided the promised educational value, students are filing lawsuits for reimbursement of tuition and other fees.

Lawsuits against the government seem to range from filings regarding unemployment benefits to challenges to the stay-at-home orders which alleged to be restricting citizen's constitutional rights. These suits have various nuances to include constitutional challenges that could have broad ramifications for American society at large.

Experts say this wave of litigation is only the tip of the iceberg, and further litigation efforts are expected to go in many different directions. Only time will tell how this plays out, and the results could have significant changes to the way we do business in the future.

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