Coronavirus Lawsuits And Claims Arising From The Pandemic
Which Coronavirus Lawsuits And Claims Offer Possible Recovery To You Or Your Business During The Pandemic?
Do You Need An Experienced Coronavirus Attorney To Assist You In Evaluating A Coronavirus Claim?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has infected millions of people worldwide. Victims may experience debilitating respiratory symptoms, and American cases are growing at an exponential rate. The disease seems to have the largest impact on the elderly and immunocompromised, but no group has been completely resistant to its effects. A heartbreaking number of people, both young and old, have died from this disease already, and the numbers increase on a daily basis. In addition, the virus is causing immeasurable damage to local and national economies across the globe, with individuals losing huge amounts in savings and retirement income.
The legal landscape of the coronavirus is wide and complex. Coronavirus lawsuits and claims have already been filed against individuals, companies, and governments for a multitude of reasons related to COVID-19. Those who have been alleged to have illegally pursued profits during the pandemic are being sued for price gouging and other crimes of opportunity. Some, who have allegedly impeded efforts, intentionally or not, to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, are being sued for negligence and other claims.
Currently, shareholders are bringing lawsuits against companies for undercapitalization, misleading statements, and official misrepresentations. Employees are considering recourse against employers associated with mass layoffs. Thousands across South Carolina are looking to better understand what long-term financial impact the economic shutdown will have on small businesses, employment, housing, and utilities. Other employees, deemed essential, are looking to understand what protections exist both against the virus and in the event they become sick.
Strom Law Firm is here to help you understand the countless complex issues surrounding these legal claims. Get in touch with a lawyer now.
Coronavirus Price Gouging Lawsuits
By raising prices on essential high-demand products, some companies are taking advantage of their customers’ anxieties. The Associated Press has reported that price gouging during the coronavirus pandemic has led to prices as high as ten dollars for a roll of toilet paper and sixty-dollars for a bottle of hand sanitizer.
States, including South Carolina, have price gouging laws to prohibit these practices. Once a state of emergency is declared, in many states, price gouging laws may take effect immediately.
Many goods and services may fall under your state’s price gouging laws. Some states limit their laws to specific items such as fuel, food, drugs, and water; others include “major necessities.” The South Carolina Price Gouging Law, S.C. 39-5-145, makes it illegal to “rent or sell or offer to rent or sell a commodity at an unconscionable price.”
Attorneys general are able to serve cease-and-desist letters, issue fines to, file lawsuits against, and investigate price gouging entities and individuals.
Consumers do not have to sit back and wait for their attorneys general to act. With the assistance of an attorney, victimized customers can file a price-gouging lawsuit on their own.
Contact the Strom Law Firm if you believe you have been the victim of price gouging during the coronavirus pandemic.
False Advertising Lawsuits During The Covid-19 Pandemic
Nationwide, private lawyers and attorneys general alike have begun undertaking legal action in response to alleged false advertising and false claims regarding the coronavirus.
Among others, the following companies and individuals have already been alleged to have made false claims regarding products.
Claims have been filed citing The Lanham Act, as well as common law fraud and negligence related to false advertising. Typically, the elements for a successful claim under the Lanham Act and common law are: (1) a false or misleading statement of fact; (2) used in commercial advertising or promotion; that (3) deceives or is likely to deceive in a material way; and (4) has caused or is likely to cause competitive or other injury to the plaintiff. It is important to note that the plaintiff does not have to prove actual injury. It should be noted that, under the Lanham Act, typically, only competing businesses in the same industry as the offending party are able to bring a claim. However, as discussed above, common law claims in fraud and negligence can be brought by consumers directly harmed.
Contact the attorneys at Strom Law Firm if you have been targeted or believe a competitor is making false claims regarding the coronavirus.
Securities Lawsuits And Claims During The Coronavirus Pandemic
During these uncertain times, some companies are alleged to have provided false and misleading statements in SEC filings. Providing such information can artificially raise the value of a company’s stocks, often leading to long term harm for the company. In addition, shareholders have alleged that their company executives engaged in misleading practices by purchasing large shares of their own company’s stock, to the detriment of the company purse, resulting in the company having insufficient cash and causing adverse impacts on the company, and its share price, during the current pandemic.
Other companies have been alleged to have simply made false claims, overselling their products’ effectiveness, in public and private, leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses once the falsehood has been exposed.
Every shareholder has standing to bring a lawsuit against a company suspected of a securities violation, and should exercise that right if necessary.
If you suspect a company of committing securities violations, reach out to an attorney at Strom Law Firm.
Predatory Lending And Foreclosure Actions During The Covid-19 Pandemic
In times of panic and economic uncertainty, there is always a select group of people and companies that opportunistically take advantage of and defraud unsuspecting consumers. Unfortunately, predatory lending is a much too common practice in a situation like the current pandemic. Predatory lending imposes unfair or abusive loan terms on a borrower.
While a temporary ban on foreclosures and evictions has been proposed, the proposal would not cover every household. There are methods to fight foreclosure in these unsure times, and an attorney can help you navigate the difficulties of the process.
If you are out of work and facing foreclosure, or suspect that you have been the victim of predatory lending, there may be a path forward. Contact a Strom Law Firm attorney today.
Negligence Claims Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic
During these uncertain times, questions have been raised surrounding how essential businesses, cruise companies, and governments have responded and will continue to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Some of these questions include:
- Were cruises reasonable in their response to coronavirus? Did the cruise ship companies properly quarantine passengers onboard to prevent the spread among the cruise’s passengers and the general population? Did the cruise ship companies make meaningful efforts to eradicate the presence of the virus?
- Did governments take reasonable measures to slow the outbreak?
- Do commercial and rental property owners have a responsibility to keep their property sanitized, especially when a tenant is discovered to have been infected?
- Do employers and business owners have the responsibility to ensure none of their employees are contagious before interacting with customers and co-workers?
- Were you or a co-worker pressured to attend work while experiencing symptoms that were later diagnosed as coronavirus?
If you or a loved one have been impacted by a diagnosis of COVID-19, contact the Strom Law Firm today to discuss whether we may be able to help you.
Workers Compensation And Employee Rights During Coronavirus
Many have been placed under stay-at-home orders, but there are still industries and employees who are considered essential. Essential employees work in a wide range of trades and professions, but the Department of Homeland Security has designated several industries as essential to the infrastructure of the country.
- Health care and public health workers, such as hospital employees, laboratory employees, caregivers, mental health workers, nurses, aides, pharmacists, dentists, social workers, and medical researchers
- Communications employees, such as call centers, operators, wireless providers, technicians, cable service providers, and manufacturers of communications equipment. Additionally, personnel in the radio, television, and media industry, such as news reporters, studio employees, and technicians that are involved in news gathering and reporting, are included. Lastly, HVAC and electrical engineers, IT employees, and security personnel for this industry are included.
- Public safety and first responders, such as law enforcement officers, EMS paramedics, firefighters, 911 call center workers, and emergency service operations personnel.
- Chemical Industry Employees, such as employees at chemical and industrial gas supply chains, chemical manufacturing plant personnel, laboratory workers, distribution facilities employees, individuals transporting chemical materials to producers of industrial and consumer goods, such as hand sanitizer, food, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and paper products.
- Energy employees, such as natural gas/propane workers, engineers, cybersecurity personnel, risk management employees, and utility employees.
- Government Employees, such as elections personnel, building management employees, security staff, trade officials, meteorologists, and all government personnel, including those workers who ensure that national security commitments to the federal government and the military are met.
- Water and wastewater employees who are working to ensure the integrity of the wastewater and/or drainage infrastructure and provide drinking water.
- Transportation and logistics personnel, such as trash collectors, postal workers, shipping company employees, air transportation personnel, air traffic employees, dispatchers, warehouse workers, gas station attendants, and employees.
- Public works personnel, such as employees working to inspect and maintain dams, bridges, and buried or underground utilities.
- Food and agriculture employees, such as farmers, fast food employees and/or managers, food manufacturers, food storage facility employees, grocery store clerks, and employees.
- Financial Services personnel, including bank tellers and bank personnel, financial and lending institution employees, and employees working to keep ATM services available to consumers.
The list above is not exhaustive, and there are industries and employees that were at risk prior to the stay-at-home orders. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and believe you contracted the disease at work, or if you believe you are an essential employee and have experienced an adverse employment event, contact our firm today.
Do You Or Your Company Have A Potential Coronavirus Claim?
Contact the attorneys at Strom Law Firm today to discuss your options. 803-252-4800