News Digest 6-25-2020

Quote of the day

“With regard to the public, litigation may arise over whether customers, vendors, or visitors were negligently exposed to COVID-19 in a business. With either type of claim, a plaintiff would likely have a difficult time showing causation; i.e., that they actually contracted the virus on a company’s premises or that it was the company’s fault. Nonetheless, these concerns have prompted some businesses to require signed waivers acknowledging the risk of infection. Whether such waivers are necessary or enforceable is itself subject of debate.”

Paul Mersino, attorney

Crain’s Detroit Business



Washington man pleads guilty in huge workers’ comp fraud case

A 67-year-old Renton, Washington delivery driver has been ordered to repay nearly $340,000 to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, for allegedly pulling off one of the largest workers’ compensation compensation scams in recent history. The state began investigating him after receiving an anonymous tip in 2017 and eventually determined he had worked multiple jobs as a delivery driver from 2012 to 2017 while collecting workers’ comp for a knee injury. Renton Reporter


What will businesses need to fight over as reopening progresses?

As businesses and courts start to reopen, businesses will need to plan for defending themselves against claims. Here is a short list of things to look out for, including landlord/tenant disputes, labor and employment issues and supply chain disputes, and liability for infections. Crain’s Detroit Business


New Jersey: Can my boss make me sign a liability waiver for COVID?

As New Jersey expands its plans to reopen, employees are being called back to work by their employers. Some are also being asked to sign liability waivers, saying they will not hold their employers responsible if the worker gets infected with COVID-19 on the job. Can employees be required to sign this?


Florida: County commissioner resigns, arrested on bid tampering, fraud charges

In the Florida panhandle, a county commissioner has resigned from his seat after his was arrested Tuesday morning on charges of bid tampering by a public servant, a public servant falsifying an official document and fraud involving an employee not getting worker’s comp insurance. Panama City News Herald


Attorneys discuss COVID-19 employment legislation, litigation FAQs

What are the types of claims employers may face related to COVID-19? What types of claims have been filed around the country? Are there any industry or timing trends in the Fed-OSHA complaints? A group of Ogletree Deakins attorneys discusses these and other questions. National Law Review