The coronavirus is not just wreaking havoc on hospitals and life as we know it, the pandemic has also opened the door to countless lawsuits. From employers failing to protect their employees to states failing to protect their voters to one cruise line accused of holding its crew hostage, the lawsuits span a wide range of areas. With no end in site to the pandemic, there is no end in sight to the myriad litigation the pandemic has born.
From N95 masks to Lysol to toilet paper to eggs, class action lawsuits alleging price gouging are on the rise. Defendants include brick and mortar grocery stores (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Albertsons to name a few) as well as online sellers.
The state of Alaska filed a suit against one individual for violating the “fundamental concepts of fairness” by stockpiling thousands of N95 masks and reselling them at more than four times the original price.
Voters in the many states have already joined class action lawsuits claiming that coronavirus voting practices are unfair, unsafe, or unduly burdensome. Being in the midst of a pandemic during a national election would be troublesome in the best of times. But with the closeness of the 2016 election and allegations of both voter fraud and voter tampering, the 2020 election could likely be a hotbed of contention.
Universities across the country are being sued by students and their parents for refunds of housing, tuition, fees, and cancelled activities. With no end in sight to the pandemic, education as we have known it may already be a thing of the past. How colleges and universities will do business in the pandemic landscape remains to be seen.
On the other side of the education coin, two universities in Missouri filed a class action suit against Factory Mutual Insurance, alleging that the insurance carrier refused to pay for losses suffered as the result of the pandemic. Other universities insured by Factory Mutual are being asked to join the suit.
Employers across the country are facing lawsuits that range from firing sick employees, failure to honor sick leave, failure to protect their employees, denial of payroll relief. On the more dramatic end of the spectrum, Celebrity Cruises is being accused of holding crewmembers captive.
Prisons across the country are facing lawsuits for being unable to offer protection from or treatment of COVID-19.
Fake Cures & Fake Tests
Doctors, chiropractors, and at least one televangelist are being sued for selling false cures. Wellness Matrix Group is accused of selling test kits falsely claiming to be approved by the EPA.
Misrepresented Hand Sanitizers
Both Germbloc and Target are the target of class action lawsuits alleging that their hand sanitizers kill 99.9% of germs without evidence to back their claims.
Failure to Refund
Amusement parks, airlines, travel insurance companies, ski resorts, music festivals, and gyms are just some of the industries being hit by class action lawsuits for failing to refund customers. Amazon is accused of stopping priority shipping for Prime customers and choosing to “satisfy new grocery and pharmacy customers” instead of honoring its contract with Prime members and without offering any form of refund.
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