Waivers of liability for disease transmission might protect commercial clients from lawsuits, but the industry will not know for sure until one is tested in an appeal court, a litigation defence lawyer suggests.LitigationLiability
A waiver will not, on its own, protect a client from liability, said John Olah, a partner with law firm Beard Winter LLP, whose expertise includes liability of ski resorts and hotels.
Instead, a waiver is only one small part of a larger risk mitigation strategy, said Olah. He was asked what happens if a commercial client hosts an event and the client asks attendees to sign a waiver agreeing that the organizer is not responsible if an attendee becomes ill as a result of contracting a disease such as COVID-19 as a result of attending the event.
Even with a waiver, it is still “critical for commercial entities to act reasonably and appropriately in conjunction with the best medicine that we have, with best practices whether it be wearing a mask, whether it be social distancing, whether it be cleaning on a regular basis,” said Olah.
Moreover, a waiver must be drafted for a specific situation. You cant just copy and paste the wording of someone elses waiver and expect it will hold up for your client in their specific situation.