Florida Legislators Introduce Bills That Would Impose Strict Prerequisites to Bringing COVID-19 Personal Injury Claims

On January 6, 2021, Florida legislators introduced a pair of bills—H.B. 7 in the Florida House and S.B. 72 in the Florida Senate—intended to address civil liability for damages for personal injuries relating to COVID-19. (In a previous Alert, we discussed the Associated Industries of Florida’s recommendation for the state to address legal liability.) As described below, the bills would impose strict pleading, filing and proof requirements on plaintiffs pursuing COVID-19-related actions; shield from liability defendants who attempted to comply with applicable health standards and guidelines; and establish a framework for courts to quickly dispose of spurious claims.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

CDC Advisory Committee Issues Recommendations for Initial COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization

The afternoon of December 1, 2020, marked an important milestone in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 13-1 to approve recommendations to prioritize distribution of the initial doses of COVID-19 vaccines. ACIP took an unusual step, issuing the recommendations before the FDA issues emergency use approval (EUA) of any COVID-19 vaccines so that the recommendations could assist states in developing their own vaccine distribution plans.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

Florida Industry Group Urges State to Limit Legal Liability for Florida Businesses

On November 30, 2020, the Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) released a 74-page report compiled by its Restore Economic Strength through Employment & Tourism (RESET) Task Force, highlighting a number policy proposals intended to help Florida’s economy “rebound from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and any similar future economic slowdowns.”

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

Protecting Trade Secrets During Remote Work

The rapid transition to remote work in the spring of 2020 brought with it new risks for businesses managing their confidential information. Helpfully, existing trade secret law is designed to adapt to circumstances, and can cover the transition to remote work. For proprietary information to continent to qualify as a trade secret, the plaintiff must show that it took “reasonable measures” under the circumstances to protect the secrecy of the information.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Gregory Bombard, please visit the Duane Morris Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Law Blog.

Georgia Passes Bill Limiting COVID-19-Related Liability for Businesses

Although Georgia joined several other states in urging Congress to provide a liability shield on a national level, Georgia did not wait to protect its businesses. On August 5, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp signed the Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act, which took effect immediately. The act amends Georgia’s tort claims law to provide new definitions, exceptions and a presumption against liability. The act provides a general shield against liability as long as the businesses did not act with gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, or reckless or intentional disregard. At first glance, the law appears focused on healthcare as it applies to any “healthcare facility, healthcare provider, entity, or individual.” However, the term “entity” is defined very broadly to include most businesses.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

COVID-19 “Fear Cases” Against Princess Cruise Lines Dismissed by California Federal Court

On Wednesday, the District Court for the Central District of California granted Princess Cruise Line’s (“Princess Cruises”) Consolidated Motion to Dismiss all 13 “Fear Cases” stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak on the Grand Princess cruise ship.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorney Brittany Wakim, please visit the Duane Morris Products Liability Blog.

UK Government’s Temporary Suspension of Wrongful Trading Liability During COVID-19 Crisis

On 14 May 2020, the UK Government extended the temporary suspension of wrongful trading liability until 30 June 2020.

On 28 March this year, the Government announced that it would “at the earliest opportunity“ introduce legislation, retrospective to 1 March 2020, to relax the insolvency rules which can make directors of limited liability companies potentially liable if they continue to trade and incur liabilities when they knew or ought to have concluded that there was no reasonable prospect of avoiding an insolvent liquidation or administration.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Linda Crow, please visit the Duane Morris London Blog.

Pennsylvania Insurance Department Warns of Risks Related to Non-Compliance of COVID-19 Business Closure Orders

On May 11, 2020, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman reminded businesses of the importance of complying with Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Health Secretary Rachel Levine’s orders – for counties in both the red and yellow phases.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Brad Molotsky, please visit the Duane Morris Project Development/Infrastructure/P3 Blog.

Pennsylvania Governor Issues Much-Anticipated Executive Order Extending Liability Protections for Healthcare Professionals Responding to COVID-19 Crisis

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to strain healthcare resources and professionals across the nation, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has responded by extending liability protections for healthcare workers responding to the crisis.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.