The COVID-19 pandemic presents hazards to us all, none more so than workers who may be exposed to the virus during their course of employment. While this is an emerging field, many people are suing their employers due to coronavirus exposure. You may sue an employer over a COVID-19 death, though there are several hurdles to clear if you seek to obtain damages. Whether or not this is possible remains to be determined for many cases and often depends on the employer’s duty of care and the burdens they placed on their employees.
Current Wrongful Death Lawsuits Against Employers Due to COVID-19
There are several current lawsuits you may wish to know about if you intend to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of someone who you believe died as a result of COVID-19 contracted on the job. While more cases are being filed almost daily, some of the existing ones are the following:
- The case of Robert Elijah against the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp.
- The case of Monemise Romulus against New Jersey’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
- The case of Enock Benjamin against JBS, a meatpacking company
- The case of Maurice Dotson against Regency Integrated Health Services
In each of the above cases, the families of the victims argue that the employer was in some way negligent and disregarded their basic duties to protect their workers from the virus. While these cases have yet to be ruled on, establishing that an employer was negligent in this regard is likely a critical component of any successful case going forward.
What is a Duty of Care?
The law holds that employers are responsible for a certain level of care for their employees, and if they violate this duty of care, they may be held liable for any injury or death that is visited on their employees as a result of their negligence. Employers that knew of the dangers of the virus and took steps to withhold this information from their employees, denied them PPE, encouraged unsafe working conditions, or otherwise knowingly endangered their employees are especially vulnerable to wrongful death lawsuits.
However, given the novelty of the virus and its wide-ranging presence, proving that a worker contracted the virus on the job can be difficult if not impossible. This presents a massive hurdle to wrongful death lawsuits due to COVID-19 in the workplace. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can be a vital partner for you as you navigate this complex and evolving field to obtain compensation for your losses. Learn more on Onmyside.com.
How Do I Prove Wrongful Death in Louisiana?
In order to prove wrongful death in Louisiana, the guilty party must fulfill the following conditions:
- There was a death of an employee of the company
- The employee’s death is related to negligence on the part of the company or a willful desire to cause harm
- The survivors of the deceased face a financial burden as a result of the worker’s death
It remains to be seen with what success families of COVID-19 victims can successfully sue the employers they believe are responsible for the death. Working with a lawyer who has handled previous wrongful death lawsuits can give you an advantage and may be what you need to obtain the compensation to which you’re entitled.
The loss of your loved one will be felt by you and your family for years to come. The emotional and financial toll can be incalculable, making it important to seek out ways to obtain compensation from an employer who you believe is responsible for your loved one’s death. If your loved one died from COVID-19 and you believe they contracted it in the workplace, do not hesitate to seek out a lawyer to explore your options to obtain compensation.