The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is not only potentially deadly, but can be transmitted by individuals who are not showing any symptoms, so people might fear that they’ve contracted the illness even if they feel fine. While the virus has existed in the United States for months, obtaining a test is still difficult in many areas and getting the results can take several days. It’s understandable that a person who believes he or she was exposed to coronavirus might suffer significant emotional harm regardless of what the test result eventually shows. As more Americans are afflicted with COVID-19, it seems likely that we’ll see lawsuits seeking damages for emotional distress related to actual or potential infection.
States vary in how they handle claims alleging negligent infliction of emotional distress, but by examining some of the elements of these actions, along with similar actions involving the spread of disease, we can gain some insight as to how these cases might be litigated. Key factors in emotional distress lawsuits can include:
Emotional distress litigation is often complicated, made more so by the great variance regarding reasonable safety measures that should be taken to stop the spread of COVID-19. Once you discuss your situation with a lawyer who is familiar with these claims, you’ll have a better perspective on your options.
Steven C. O'Tool advocates on behalf of clients in personal injury cases. To set up a consultation, please call 651-882-1717 or contact the firm online.