Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim for COVID-19?

Researchers at Harvard recently completed a study of COVID-19 spread in Asian countries, and they found that 47% of cases were likely spread through workplace exposure. In the United States, data suggests that between 7 and 9 percent of COVID deaths were caused by infected workers transmitting the virus to their housemates. The outbreaks we’re experiencing have led to employers seeking immunity from coronavirus lawsuits.

So, that begs the question: can you sue an employer for causing a worker to die as a result of coronavirus infection?

Right now, Congress is fighting over that issue with regard to “liability shields.” A bipartisan proposal would give businesses a retroactive one-year shield from any liability for coronavirus infections in the workplace. Leading Republicans want the shield to last for five years. In either case, both proposals make exceptions for cases where the employer committed “gross negligence or willful misconduct.”

At the moment, there are only a few hundred injury or wrongful death cases nationwide that have been filed this year. The number of businesses filing for business interruption claims far outnumbers the workers or families who have sued for relief after a loved one fell ill or died from COVID. A handful of these cases are clearly situations where the employer was negligent or willfully committing wrongdoing.

So, Can I Sue for COVID Wrongful Death in Louisiana?

The issue is that, regarding the law, it’s not just about what happened, it’s about what can be proven. Right now, it’s extremely difficult for employees or grieving families to prove where exactly someone caught COVID. Proving that employers acted negligently is possible, but creating a direct link between negligence and the harm you or a loved one suffered is difficult in the context of a pandemic.

And whether that will be possible at all is still in question; after all, Congress may pass a liability shield which will block the majority of cases. If you have questions about your workplace COVID case, speak with a Louisiana work injury lawyer in a free consultation. If you have legal options available, an attorney will be able to discuss them with you.

Call (225) 209-9943 to speak with an attorney at Clayton, Frugé & Ward today.