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Can You Sue for Wrongful Death from the Coronavirus in New York?

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2020 | Wrongful Death |

New York wrongful death lawyers

With so much in our world having changed in a matter of weeks due to the coronavirus, it is easy to forget in all that panic and preparation that there are still semblances of our usual routines that are still recognizable despite our culture constantly adapting to the circumstances. We must not lose sight of who we are and what needs to be done when we see something unjust. This is true of many things, but one of those is holding people accountable and responsible for negligence that results in wrongful death.

Possible Coronavirus Wrongful Death Lawsuits

With more than 200,000 cases and 8,000 deaths worldwide, the coronavirus is having a serious—and often deadly—impact on life as we know it. Since not enough is known about this new and dangerous disease, people are prone to make mistakes that could be fatal to your loved ones. Here are two major examples of places rife with potential for fatal negligence in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, as evidenced by recent exposure:

  • Cruise Ships—With cruise ships like the Diamond Princess and the Grand Princess presenting extremely high incidence of coronavirus infections and deaths, it is no surprise that staff negligence could put passengers in danger. As many say, all those people packed together on one ship at sea is like a giant floating petri dish: an ideal scenario for an aggressive virus like COVID-19. Additionally, if the staff on board, including maids, janitors, and chefs, are not following appropriate safety and health guidelines, the virus is bound to spread at an alarming rate, causing needless deaths.
  • Nursing Homes—With 10 nursing homes and long-term care facilities near Seattle confirming cases of the virus just last week, it is apparent these places are highly conducive to virus spread. If the staff, including nurses, doctors, certified nursing assistants, maids, janitors, and cooks, are not taking proper safety measures in their daily work, such as keeping all surfaces regularly disinfected, washing their hands for 20 seconds as often as necessary, and making sure the residents are not exposed to anything unsanitary, the coronavirus could spread—and kill—those most susceptible to the disease.

However, proving that your loved one died from negligence in those places or other similar places is a challenge. Your lawyer would have to provide evidence that speaks to a failure on the part of the company or staff to take “all reasonable measures” necessary to protect its patrons from the spread of the coronavirus. Even if the failure could be proven, there is the matter of waivers that many people sign for both cruise ships and nursing homes that put limitations on possible future litigation. In many cases, these waivers bar class-action lawsuits and constitute arbitration agreements prohibiting loved ones from going to court to seek compensation on the deceased’s behalf. Regardless of these challenges, you can sue for wrongful death from the coronavirus, but there have not been enough case studies to support them and their success rates quite yet.

Contact a Manhattan Wrongful Death Lawyer

Do not let these trying times stop you from seeking justice for your loved ones. If you believe negligence or misconduct has resulted in the death of a loved one from the coronavirus, consider calling an NYC injury attorney at 833-JOEY-JAC or 833-563-9522. The knowledgeable team at JOEY JACKSON LAW, PLLC, will review your case and help you determine the best course of action.