Bethel Park, PA asked in Business Law for Pennsylvania

Q: Can I sue my place of business if I contract covid?

A couple months ago, my place of business started a mask policy, but never enforced it. There were only a few people who wore a mask. Many higher-ups, who even started the policy, didn't wear the mask and considered the virus to be a joke. Today, somebody in the company has tested positive and it may spiral. Im worried I may have been infected. My mother just started chemo treatment for stage 4 colon cancer and if I can't visit her because I'm infected, I'm going to be very upset. I feel like this could have been prevented by the company in which I am employed. Can I sue my company for negligence or something similar?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kent Petry
Kent Petry
  • Warminster, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: These are new questions facing the court, but depending upon your injuries or specific facts, one of two scenarios is likely. Either, (1) you can file a suit for something like negligence, personal injury, or wrongful death against the employer, or (2) you can file a workers' compensation claim.

The elements for negligence may slightly differ depending on where you are, but typically in order to establish a cause of action for a negligent conduct, a plaintiff must establish that (1) the defendant owes him or her a duty; (2) there was a breach of that duty; (3) there is a causal connection between the defendant’s conduct and the harm incurred to the plaintiff; and (4) damages to the plaintiff.

Additionally, you may have the grounds for some form of personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against an employer if: through intentional actions – like the failure to provide PPE or to follow health and safety mandates – the employer created a work environment that caused the employee to become ill, and significant injury, such as severe and long-term complications or death, resulted.

You might want to reach out and contact an attorney.

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