The pandemic era is a risky phase for businesses, and the risks extend beyond operational disruptions and fall in consumer demand. The threats extend to several legal implications as well, with organizations expecting to see an uptick in the number of lawsuits against them in the coming time. It makes sense to be aware of these threats and risks so that you can steer clear of them in the first place. Also, you need a strategic plan to deal with these legal issues they do arise at any point. A lawsuit can make things only more complicated when you are dealing with an economic downturn and business disruptions already. So it is good to be prepared well in advance, rather than being taken by surprise. Here are the potential lawsuits that a business may come across in the new normal.
A business owes a duty of care towards its customers, and breaching this standard of care can lead to a negligence claim by the customer. It happens when a business owner puts the customer at risk directly or fails to act reasonably to protect them from a foreseeable risk. The risk of such claims only gets bigger amid the contagion because negligence can happen intentionally or unintentionally, and damage can occur in several forms. For example, a customer can sue your company for asserting a negligence-based claim he or she gets infected by coming in contact with an infected employee.
Premises liability claims
Apart from negligence claims, businesses are also at high risk of premises liability lawsuits right now. Essentially, premises liability statutes create a duty to ensure that your property is reasonably safe for customers, vendors, and visitors who enter your business. As a part of these duties, you need to inspect the premises for hidden dangers and warn the visitors about the hazardous conditions therein. If someone suffers a personal injury on account of breach of these duties, they can sue the business for claiming compensation. In the context of the pandemic, your business can face premises liability claims if it fails to protect visitors from exposure properly.
Another kind of consumer claim that is likely to become more common in the new normal is a claim for misrepresentation. Typically, businesses encounter them when they make verbal or written statements that are inaccurate, and consumers rely on them. These claims may be based on posted signs, contractual agreements, advertisements, verbal communications, and other statements that brands make in the course of running the business. In the current landscape, such claims may arise from the statements that organizations make about the precautionary measures taken to minimize the risk of exposure. Further, inaccurate statements about exposure risks from your products and operations can land you in trouble.
Since the legal risks are growing for businesses in the new normal, it is something that no organization should ignore. After all, lawsuits can lead to heavy financial burdens and may cause reputational damage as well. Awareness and a proper defense strategy put you in a better place.