Next Up – COVID-Related Lawsuits

July 2020

Long-term care homes sued by families who have lost loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.  Insurance companies sued for breach of policy and claim denial by business owners finding COVID-related losses not covered.  Cruise ship companies sued for negligence in their response to the COVID outbreak.  Schools sued for refunds of campus and tuition fees.  Airlines, and retailers including Costco and Amazon, accused of price gouging.  And this is just the beginning.

Legal experts expect more lawsuits to be filed in the coming months.  Condominium corporations are also at risk.

Condominium boards and management may have undertaken actions some deem inappropriate during the COVID pandemic.  Actions may have included:

  • Condo fee deferral or forgiveness which can place added financial burden on all owners in a community
  • Failure to enhance cleaning procedures to address COVID-related concerns
  • Closure of common areas prior to the government’s Emergency Order directing closure
  • Acting as a health authority by directing residents on how to maintain cleanliness or distance from others
  • Undertaking non-emergency building maintenance while prohibiting the same type of work in suites
  • Inappropriately restricting building access which may have prohibited family members rendering assistance, home care workers, or contractors doing necessary work
  • Refusal to accept delivered packages
  • Disallowing an open house for properties being sold

While actions taken may have been legal and appropriate, communities may have failed to effectively communicate their actions thus breeding mistrust and concern.

Communities involved in a lawsuit over their COVID-related actions may be forced to justify them as being within their mandated legal authority.