When the COVID-19 pandemic started, the big corporate lobbyists all warned about how an avalanche of lawsuits was going to bury businesses. But as you might have read, the expected crush of coronavirus-related litigation never came. As The Wall Street Journal discussed recently, there are a few different reasons for this — the most significant being that it’s very, very challenging to prove causation in such claims. “Holding a business liable for a COVID-19 injury or death requires more than just evidence that it exposed someone to the disease or failed to take responsible precautions. A plaintiff also bears the burden of proving causation: that the defendant’s careless conduct was the source of infection and injury,” the article explains. In other words, you have to prove you got the coronavirus from the defendant. That is difficult to do when the disease is so prevalent that contact-tracing, in the cases when it is undertaken, is virtually impossible. An obvious exception to this is when the Plaintiff was in one place for a long enough period of time that there is no other potential source. This is why, as the article notes, significant litigation against cruise lines and nursing homes has already been filed, and more is expected. If you are a victim in one of these situations, give us a call and we can help you understand your options.
The Issue of Medical Malpractice in a Covid-19 Lawsuit
And what about medical malpractice - - where the issue isn’t where you got COVID-19, but instead whether your care was mismanaged? Unfortunately, these cases have also proved quite tough. Governor Pritzker granted broad immunity to health care providers early in the pandemic. Issued April 1, 2020, Executive Order 2020-19 provided that any health care provider or facility “engaged in the course of rendering assistance” to controlling the pandemic is “immune from civil liability for any injury or death alleged to have been caused by any act or omission”, unless the plaintiff can prove “gross negligence or willful misconduct.” The Executive Order was extended on May 13, before expiring on June 26. Nobody has yet tested the limits of this immunity. Thus, if you were the victim of a malpractice between April 1, 2020 and June 26, 2020, it could be difficult to bring a lawsuit — even if the malpractice had nothing to do with COVID-19. BUT DO NOT GIVE UP. Instead, we recommend you consult with an expert about your options. Convincing a jury to find against a doctor or hospital for failing to appropriately manage your illness could be challenging. Defendants will try to curry sympathy. And because so much about COVID-19 is still unknown, they will likely blame poor outcomes on an atypical progression of the disease rather than acknowledge their own mistakes.
Representation For Your Covid-19 Lawsuit
Again, though, DO NOT GIVE UP. We’re up for the fight if you are. Just because it is uphill, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the climb. If your illness was worsened due to someone else’s mistake, you deserve a chance at justice. And we want to make sure you get that chance. Perhaps most importantly, any potential malpractice which occurred before the onset of the pandemic is not impacted at all. Nor is any potential malpractice after June 26, 2020, especially if it is unrelated to Covid. If you believe you were the victim of one, call us as soon as possible. These have been extraordinarily difficult times, and that won’t change anytime soon. This pandemic has been especially hard on the victims of negligence, because the playing field has been tilted even further away from them. That makes your choice of a Belleville personal injury lawyer more crucial than ever. Call us at: (618) 236-2221