Protecting Your Business From Covid Related Claims
Businesses are at an increased risk of being held responsible for their customer’s exposure to COVID-19 while at their property. Grocery stores, banks, daycares, restaurants, exercise facilities, whether essential or non-essential, face this risk. Customers expect businesses to heighten their protocols relating to cleaning and ensuring customers wear masks and social distance. What options does a business owner have if a customer claims they were exposed to COVID-19 on their premises. ( Protecting Your Business From Covid Related Claims Call 561-880-0155 )
What Liability Does COVID-19 Pose to Customers?
Business owners are mandated to take reasonable measures and precautions to limit their customer’s exposure to danger and provide a safe environment for their customers. Business owners are required to eliminate dangerous conditions and maintain safety on their premises.
Are Businesses Required to Follow the Centers for Disease Control’s GUIDELINES?
Business owners are not required to follow CDC guidelines unless there are children involved. With that said, it is best practice to follow the CDCs guidelines regarding masks and social distancing to avoid unnecessary liability claims. The CDC has offered guidance to help prevent exposure in the workplace.
Businesses should understand the risks of failing to take reasonable precautionary measures. Failure to do so may increase and lawsuits from third parties from customers and employees claiming they were exposed to COVID-19.
What Reasonable Expectations Do Customers Have During This Pandemic?
Customers bear some risk when they voluntarily go into any business. The public should heed the recommended guidelines to stay indoors, six feet from others if they must go out. There would be some responsibility if an individual claim they contracted COVID-19 on business premises, especially if they fail to adhere to the CDC recommended mask and distancing guidelines.
HOW BUSINESSES CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES AGAINST THIRD-PARTY COVID-19 LIABILITY CLAIMS
Businesses should take reasonable precautions to limit their customers’ exposure to COVID-19 while on their premises. Businesses can follow the CDC guidelines by using reasonable strategies which include, but are not limited to:
- separating sick employees;
- educating employees about how they can reduce the spread;
- using proper building ventilation, filtration, and humidity control;
- practicing proper hand hygiene (e., providing sufficient hand sanitizer and soap);
- practicing proper respiratory hygiene (e., providing tissues and places to dispose of tissues properly);
- encouraging customers to stay at least six feet apart while at the company’s premises;
- discouraging handshaking; and
- routine cleaning and disinfection (e., high contact surfaces, dust, removing trash, cleaning restrooms).
As a practical matter, it will be difficult for a customer to prove causation given the nature of the virus and the ongoing inability to pinpoint where and when people have contracted the virus.
As we continue to monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Paul J. Burkhart stays current on helping his clients mitigate any liability claims.
Business Attorney, Palm Beach Gardens
Paul J. Burkhart
If you have any questions about how a business can ease their premises liability during this pandemic, the Law Offices of Paul J. Burkhart, P.L. have experienced attorneys who can help you with the hardships businesses face in this new world of COVID-19.
Our team assists both individuals and business clients with all their legal needs, including business and Corporate Transactions, Business/Commercial and Civil Litigation, Real Estate, Intellectual Property, Family Law, Probate, and Estate Planning matters. We are a full-service private law firm ready to assist you with any request, large or small. Call 561-880-0155 or visit our website.
Law Offices of Paul J Burkhart, PL
800 Village Square Crossing
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Phone: (561) 880-0155
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