Mara Cohara and Eric Swan, tort litigation attorneys at Lathrop GPM, talk about what companies should be doing now in preparation of bringing employees back into the workplace, and what to expect from consumers. They predict a spike in cases involving tort claims from people who allege they contracted COVID-19 or experienced flu-like symptoms from their workplace or a business they visited, as an increase in tort claims usually goes hand-in-hand with a general public awareness of a health crisis.
The two most common claims will be related to:
Failure to provide adequate equipment (such as PPE) or training to employees
Failure to provide consumers with proper safety conditions
While there is not a lot that companies can do to prevent lawsuits from being filed, there are steps to minimize risk and prepare a defense to swiftly resolve the case. For example, they advise companies to retain documented communications showing safety measures that are recommended and followed.
Eric Swan focuses his practice on defending Fortune 500 companies in complex litigation involving product liability, significant mass tort actions, including multi-district litigation, and commercial disputes. In addition to his legal experience, he has a science background with a master’s in cancer biology; prior to practicing law, he worked in vaccine development.
Mara Cohara leads the Environmental and Tort Practice Group and her litigation work spans federal and state courts, including more than 20 states. She advises clients in a variety of industries ranging from manufacturing and hospitality to agribusiness. She has significant experience coordinating large-scale matters and defending high-profile lawsuits that involve media and community attention.
About Lathrop GPM
Lathrop GPM is a national law firm with nearly 400 attorneys and 14 offices from coast to coast. At Lathrop GPM, we relentlessly pursue our clients’ interests to help anticipate trends, plan for challenges, and bring their vision to life. As a full-service firm with deep roots and a broad reach, Lathrop GPM collaborates with our clients to shape the future. Lathrop GPM was formed in 2020 through the combination of two 100+-year firms, Lathrop Gage (established in Kansas City in 1873) and Gray Plant Mooty (established in Minneapolis in 1866). For more information, visit lathropgpm.com.