COVID-19 Liability Update

Wisconsin Civil Justice Council and its partners continue to push for liability protections for Wisconsin businesses as they reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (See this column from WCJC President and National Federation for Independent Business Wisconsin State Director Bill G. Smith, which was featured on the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform blog and MacIver Institute.)

Wisconsin’s Legislative Council recently issued a brief on businesses’ use of COVID-19 liability waivers. The report notes that Wisconsin courts are “generally skeptical of liability waivers” and would likely refuse to uphold them in future cases. With individual liability waivers likely off the table, it is even more important for Wisconsin to enact state level liability protections for Wisconsin businesses facing COVID-19 lawsuits.

As of early June, at least 2,700 COVID-19 related complaints have been filed across the U.S., according to JD Supra. Insurance complaints make up a large percentage of cases, as well as consumer complaints and labor and employment complaints. Meanwhile, mass tort advertising has increased amid the pandemic.

Stay tuned for more updates from WCJC on efforts to protect businesses from frivolous COVID-19 lawsuits.