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Can Waivers and Disclaimers Protect Your Business from COVID-19 Liability?

Prepare Your Business for Reopening with Dean Law Firm

As COVID-19 restrictions across the country ease up, some businesses are still wary about reopening due to the legal risks it entails. Business owners seem less concerned about the virus itself, however, and more concerned about litigation. To offset any liability they may face in the spread of the disease, many businesses are including disclaimers on their websites and premises, and some are even requiring customers to sign liability waivers before coming in. Even Disney World warns customers of the risk for “severe illness and death,” should they enter the park, which will reopen on July 11, 2020.

According to Reuters:

Entities including the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, a real estate agency in Arizona, a racecar speedway in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, and the New York Stock Exchange have introduced waivers disavowing responsibility for anyone who might contract the disease onsite.”

A Wall Street executive added:

I cannot stress enough that we will not be able to guarantee the safety of traders, clerks or other trading personnel that choose to access the trading floor. It will have risk and will continue to have risk until there is a vaccine or some other cure for this disease.”

Are Waivers a Good Idea?

Personal injury claims regarding COVID-19 are unlikely for several reasons, according to ABC Action News and the legal scholars and consumer protection professionals the publication spoke to. First off, proving where someone contracted the illness will be extremely difficult. Second, liability waivers tend to hold up in court.

Equipping your business with waivers and disclaimers is not a bad idea because it can make an already difficult claim that much harder for potential plaintiffs to prove. That being said, The National Law Review reminds attorneys and business owners alike that:

Even the best drafted waiver is not likely to insulate one from liability arising out of some types of claims.

Further, liability waivers are not permitted in some states, and legislators across the country are still deciding how COVID-19 and all related laws and lawsuits will be handled.

In short, you cannot be too careful. Posting disclaimers and requiring a waiver is a good idea, but you should also take all appropriate precautions to slow the spread of the virus and adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulations at all times.

Get Started Today

If you are ready to get your business up and running again and mitigate your likelihood of lawsuits, discuss your situation with Dean Law Firm during a free consultation.

We can help you draft disclaimers, waivers, and prepare to return to work with some legal protection.

Call us at (281) 280-8900 today or send us a message online to get started.