Does Employer Negligence During COVID-19 Allow Employees to Sue for Injuries?
As America makes an attempt to return to normal from the devastating effects of the coronavirus, a new problem emerges from workers who were deemed essential during state lockdowns. Meat packer, health care workers and even public transit employees were not given the option to stay home from work. Many workplaces didn’t provide proper PPE or take proper precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In turn, many employees contracted the virus because employers failed to properly protect workers from viral transmission. But can coronavirus victims sue for injuries? The answer is yes, coronavirus victims and their families can sue for injuries and seek compensation for their losses.
Claiming Under Workers’ Compensation May Not be Effective
Texas law allows employers to opt out of carrying worker’s compensation, but does not absolve them from responsibility for employee’s injuries. An employer with no workers’ compensation, also known as a non-subscriber, can be sued for injuries sustained while working. However, it may take time to get compensation from a non-subscriber. If an employer has traditional workers’ compensation insurance, it may be more difficult, but not impossible, to file a lawsuit against a willfully negligent employer.
Workers’ compensation for illness is usually covered by workers’ compensation, but the coronavirus has changed the normal definition of employer negligence that allows transmission of a virus. Prior to COVID-19, transmission of an illness through negligence had relatively low odds. The virulence of coronavirus changed those odds and put more people than ever at risk of illness.
Many employers failed to respond to the threat of the virus and failed to provide proper supplies of PPE for employees. However, some employers were unable to obtain adequate stores of PPE despite their efforts. Efforts to sue for coronavirus injuries may be complicated by the efforts made by an employer to protect employees. Discussing the situation with an attorney can help victims decide the best course of action to recover damages from a negligent employer.
Can Cruise Ship Workers Sue Their Employer for Coronavirus Injuries?
Many cruise ship workers who got COVID-19 while working on cruise ships are asking “Can coronavirus victims sue for injuries?” The answer is yes. Cruise ship workers can file suit under the Jones Act, a federal law that enables maritime workers to sue employers for failing to make a ship a safe place to work. However, under the Jones Act, an employee has to spend over 30% of their employment hours aboard the ship in order to meet the law’s rule of thumb that determines seaman status. If an employee meets the rule of thumb for status, they are eligible to file a lawsuit against their employer for failing to provide a safe workplace.
Employees who feel that their employer failed to protect them by providing necessary equipment and following guidelines may be able to sue their employers for negligence. A consultation with a lawyer can help a coronavirus victim decide upon the best course of action to pursue against an employer.