Coronavirus wrongful death lawsuits are coming

The Covid-19 virus is a novel or new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. It is suspected that COVID-19 originally occurred in certain species of animals and has emerged to infect and spread between people.  This is similar to what occurred with MERS and SARS, two other coronaviruses that originated from animals.

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person between people who are in close contact with one another ( within about 6 feet), through respiratory droplets produced when a person infected with the virus sneezes or coughs.

Current symptoms reported in patients testing positive for COVID-19 include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. People are considered to be most contagious when they are showing these symptoms, but testing is necessary to determine whether these symptoms are a result of COVID-19 or some other viral agent.

While people infected with the virus may have mild symptoms or even be asymptomatic, older individuals and people of all ages with underlying health conditions — diabetes, heart, and lung disease — appear to be at a higher risk for developing a serious, if not deadly, COVID-19 illness.

Cruise lines and health care facilities have figured prominently in the news over the past few weeks because many of the reported cases of COVID-19, including several fatalities, have been linked to them. 

Have these healthcare facilities or cruise ships taken “all reasonable measures” to prevent exposure to the coronavirus? Could victims and their families have personal injury lawsuits, including coronavirus wrongful death lawsuits, against cruise lines and health care facilities?

Safety precautions may not be enough

At this time, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.  However, taking the following preventative actions can help to prevent its spread: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces 
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after sneezing or coughing
  • If you are at a higher risk of contracting the virus, stay away from large gatherings in confined spaces.

The CDC advises calling your doctor for testing if you develop the symptoms of the virus. There  is no antiviral treatment for COVID-19 at the present time. People with the virus should receive supportive care to relieve their symptoms, and, for severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

Unfortunately, for those people who have died from the virus, these safety precautions were not enough, especially if the precautionary measures were inadequate in preventing the spread of the virus and, therefore, exacerbating the deadly outbreak.

Cruise lines and health care facilities could be facing coronavirus wrongful death cases as a result.

Protecting your loved ones

You should be prepared for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak within your community. Practice coronavirus safety measures, pay strict attention to travel restrictions, and if a state of emergency has been declared in your community.

If you believe that you or a family member contracted the virus on a cruise ship or in a healthcare facility as a result of a lack of reasonable precautionary measures, contact Scott S. Harris, attorney in San Diego for coronavirus medical malpractice cases, to schedule a free consultation.