A great deal of unique personal injury lawsuits have been filed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Stretching the limits of legislation, it was through these new cases that the legal community discovered new ways by which an individual could be sued, and courts were forced to accommodate new standards to prevent these potential lawsuits. As a personal injury attorney from a law office like Kirsch Attorneys can explain, at the very start of the pandemic, many businesses felt vulnerable to being sued over something they (and the overall global population) had little control or knowledge over: COVID-19.
Businesses – especially large businesses – assumed that they could have claims made against them if someone were to contract COVID-19 within a reasonable amount of time after visiting their establishments. These businesses feared that people could file lawsuits claiming that they had contracted COVID-19 from their establishments.
A strong case would have included proof that the individual hadn’t been anywhere else over a period of two weeks or so, which was made all the more possible with the lockdown measures at the time. This two week window reduced the possibility that the plaintiff would have gone anywhere else (other than essential locations, like a grocery store). In the event of one of these lawsuits, not only would the plaintiff’s confinement be investigated, but all other practices regarding their COVID safety would be called into question during the discovery process.
Time has passed. While many of those COVID-related lawsuits have been abandoned, a new type of case has been filed for the first time: A personal injury lawsuit claiming damages from school closures. Schools are just now beginning to open up again, and while most students are making a seamless transition from online learning back to physical classes, apparently some students (like the children of the plaintiffs in this case) were left emotionally scarred and changed by the experience.
Two Los Angeles parents are suing the L.A. Unified School District and Teacher’s Union for exactly this reason. The plaintiffs state that their children were socially active and well-adjusted before COVID-19, but after being away from class for so long, they have since become suicidal, addicted to their computers and generally locked up in their bedrooms.
The attorney in this case, Timothy Snowball, mentioned the case’s first-of-its-kind status, saying that children have been suffering needlessly. He’s representing the parents pro-bono in this case.
Given the unique parameters of the case, only time will tell as to whether or not this case will hold up in court – after which other parents in the U.S. might find themselves encouraged to file cases, themselves. If the case fails, however, it’ll likely nip the idea in the bud and shut down any future attempts at this kind of claim for good.