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COVID-19 Personal Injury Claims


As the state of Kentucky begins to fully open back up for business, exposure to COVID-19 remains a chief concern. Employees want to feel safe while at work. Additionally, consumers want to feel protected when visiting a place of business. Several lawsuits are currently pending across the country and the cases share a similar allegation of negligence in that the companies didn’t do enough to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Most personal injury lawsuits center around the legal concept of negligence. Negligence claims arise from situations where an individual or business act carelessly, which causes harm to someone else or causes damage to another person’s property.

In regard to COVID-19, a negligence claim could occur if a business has failed in its legal duty to take appropriate action in safeguarding you from the coronavirus, resulting in injury to you. For instance, Kentucky has required that businesses provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees and that businesses have an obligation to make best efforts in making sure employees are wearing PPE such as cloth masks, unless the employee works in isolation.

{The Centers for Disease Control has a resource page that details the varying business safety requirements and protocols divided by industry type, and that page may be found here.}

Once a breach of duty occurs, the next step would be to prove that your employer or place of business exposed you to COVID-19, as opposed to the company down the street exposing you. With a fourteen-day incubation period, it won’t be easy in many circumstances to prove you contracted the virus from a specific locale. There are situations — like cruise ships, factories, and nursing homes — where it might be easier to prove transmission since people are grouped tightly together in limited space, especially if that business becomes a “hot spot” with outbreaks of the virus.

Currently, a pending case exists against Smithfield Meats over failure to provide PPE to employees who worked in cramped conditions, resulting in employees becoming sick. OSHA has opened an investigation to determine if Smithfield were compliant with required virus protections. It will be interesting to see how this case progresses. (1)

In the meantime, if you see that COVID safety requirements are not being followed at your work or at a place of business, document what you can with photos and/or video. Then take your concerns to management and ask that they rectify the situation to meet all legal guidelines for COVID safety.


Should you have further concerns or questions regarding an injury to yourself or a loved one,

please call Frank Jenkins Law at (859)-389-9344.

Free consultation.





1. https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/lessons-from-smithfield-pork-packing-21954/