COMMERCE Magazine: Managing Risk and Avoiding Liability During COVID-19

Christopher R. Paldino was featured in a COMMERCE Magazine editorial roundtable posing the question to legal leaders across the State, “How are you advising clients to avoid legal risks during the pandemic? Strategies? Best practices?”

In response, Chris says, “As we have seen, each week seems to bring new information and understanding of the ongoing pandemic. It is critical, therefore, that business owners and their advisory teams make every effort to continuously review, implement, and enforce the guidelines and/or requirements published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, World Health Organization, industry-specific publications and State, county and/or local governments to ensure that they are complying with the then-current “State-of-the-Art” guidance.

In addition, business owners are encouraged to document their research and enforcement efforts. By contemporaneously documenting the plans that they have implemented, the basis for those plans and the steps they took to communicate and enforce those plans, business owners will put themselves in a better position to defend against claims that they failed to reasonably prevent or minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

By taking the time to research, document, apply, and enforce the applicable guidelines and safety protocols, business owners will not only take important steps to keep their customers, employees and visitors safe, but will also be setting up their defenses to any potential third-party liability claims.”

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