Cleveland Medical Malpractice Attorneys

The Ohio legislature recently enacted a law that provides qualified immunity to businesses, health care workers and schools from civil liability for COVID 19-related illness, injury or wrongful death.  The statute is poorly worded and overly broad.  As with any ambiguous law, uncertainty prevails and litigation lies ahead.

The immunity is “qualified” in the sense that business, health and civic entities can be held liable if it is shown that the defendant was reckless.  This is supposed to strike fear in plaintiff’s lawyers’ hearts because recklessness is, in legal terms, harder to prove then negligence.  But jurors don’t know this and, frankly, most jurors require clear and convincing evidence of recklessness to hold a tortfeasor liable any ways, despite what the law says.  The system is and always has been biased against victims of needless injury.  The law also bans class actions absent reckless conduct.  Reckless conduct is defined as “heedless indifference” to the consequences of Covid-19, or, in the healthcare setting, disregard of “substantial and unjustifiable risk that the health care provider’s conduct is likely to cause … an unreasonable risk” of injury or death.

This legislation is entirely unnecessary insofar as claims arising out of coronavirus transmission already face in