TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As businesses reopen in Southern Arizona, some may be at a higher risk of trouble coming through the doors.
“There’s definitely going to be a lot of litigation due to the coronavirus,” said Marc Lamber, head of the Fennemore Craig personal injury department.
Lamber said he has been receiving calls from customers and employees related to allegations of contracting COVID-19 at a specific place.
Are certain types of businesses facing greater exposure?
“If you have businesses where customers or patrons tend to spend a longer duration of time, I think that increases the likelihood that you can be exposed to the coronavirus," said Lamber. "I think if you have a business that involves a lot of touching, like handheld devices or things like that, where a lot of customers are doing that, I think that increases the risk of contracting the virus.”
Lamber added that places where many people congregate also need to be careful.
Those situations could lead to a customer claiming a business didn’t follow health precautions and was the reason for contracting COVID-19.
“You can see, potentially I guess, if customers or patrons are bringing claims, it doesn’t mean those claims have merit, but it still costs money and time to deal with those claims,” said Lamber.
The cost and time associated with dealing with lawsuits could hurt a business already dealing with financial issues and working to rebound after closures.
Personal injury claims will not be the only litigation to come with COVID-19, Lamber said. He expects to see, and is already seeing in some cases, worker’s compensation claims, businesses filing lawsuits with insurance companies and contract lawsuits.