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If I Learn that a Person with Covid-19 Visited my Premises and I want to Provide a Warning to Invitees, What Should it Say?

March 19, 2020

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Each situation is unique and we can help you craft a warning that fits your individual factual scenario.  But here are a few questions to consider first.

  • Prior to learning about the infected person’s presence at your premises, what were you doing to limit the spread of the virus?
  • What parts of the premises were visited by the infected person and how long was he or she at the premises (do you know what he or she touched, if anything)?
  • How soon after the infected person visited the premises did you discover they were positive for COVID-19?
  • What steps did you take upon learning of this information and when did you take these steps?

With this information, you can draft a warning that addresses these and other salient points.  Here is a hypothetical example.

  • You have been implementing the CDC and local guidance for businesses as it evolves.

Bay Area COVID-19 Shelter In Place Orders – Essential Information, and Suggested Next Steps for Impacted Businesses

On March 16, 2020, seven Bay Area counties issued shelter in place orders that run from midnight on March 17th through April 7th, with the possibility that the period will be extended or shortened as the situation develops. This alert provides guidance on movement that is still allowed under the order and recommendations on immediate steps your business can take:

What movement do the orders still allow?

While everyone in the seven counties1 is “ordered to shelter at their place of residence,” people can leave their residences for:

  • Essential Activities – These include shopping for food, medical supplies, and household supplies; seeking medical care; engaging in outdoor activities including walking, hiking, or running; performing work at an Essential Business, or caring for family members or pets in another household.
  • Work performing Essential Government Functions – Each government agency will determine what functions are essential, and identify appropriate employees and

Six Steps You Can Take to Mitigate Risks and Liability

March 16, 2020

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We are posting a series of answers to Frequently Asked Questions and practical advice to consider in the era of COVID-19. These posts are not intended to cover all employee issues or healthcare settings recommendations, but rather are focused on dealing with premises liability involving invitees. Other resources for handling employees include: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/l; https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/; https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html. Please review other posts related to COVID-19 published on this blog for additional information. If you have questions specific to your company’s individualized situation, contact Susan Brice (susan.brice@bclplaw.com) or Tom Lee (tom.lee@bclplaw.com). For any employment related questions, please contact the BCLP employment lawyer with whom you work or Lily Kurland (lily.kurland@bclplaw.com), who can provide you with information about guidelines and protocols they have developed to assist employers with these issues.

Six Steps You Can Take to Mitigate Risks and Liability:

1. Follow the Guidelines: Follow CDC

What Are the Primary Premises Liability Risks Posed by COVID-19?

March 16, 2020

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We are posting a series of answers to Frequently Asked Questions and practical advice to consider in the era of COVID-19. These posts are not intended to cover all employee issues or healthcare settings recommendations, but rather are focused on dealing with premises liability involving invitees. Other resources for handling employees include: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/l; https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/; https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html. Please review other posts related to COVID-19 published on this blog for additional information. If you have questions specific to your company’s individualized situation, contact Susan Brice (susan.brice@bclplaw.com) or Tom Lee (tom.lee@bclplaw.com). For any employment related questions, please contact the BCLP employment lawyer with whom you work or Lily Kurland (lily.kurland@bclplaw.com), who can provide you with information about guidelines and protocols they have developed to assist employers with these issues.

What Are the Primary Premises Liability Risks Posed by COVID-19?

Outside of cruise lines, we have yet to

What Do I Do if a Person Suspected or Confirmed to Have COVID-19 Has Been at My Facility?

We are posting a series of answers to Frequently Asked Questions and practical advice to consider in the era of COVID-19. These posts are not intended to cover all employee issues or healthcare settings recommendations, but rather are focused on dealing with premises liability involving invitees. Other resources for handling employees include: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/l; https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/; https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html. Please review other posts related to COVID-19 published on this blog for additional information. If you have questions specific to your company’s individualized situation, contact Susan Brice (susan.brice@bclplaw.com) or Tom Lee (tom.lee@bclplaw.com). For any employment related questions, please contact the BCLP employment lawyer with whom you work or Lily Kurland (lily.kurland@bclplaw.com), who can provide you with information about guidelines and protocols they have developed to assist employers with these issues.

What Do I Do if a Person Suspected or Confirmed to Have COVID-19 Has Been at My Facility?

If

What Steps Should I take at My Premises to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19?

March 13, 2020

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We are posting a series of answers to Frequently Asked Questions and practical advice to consider in the era of COVID-19. These posts are not intended to cover all employee issues or healthcare settings recommendations, but rather are focused on dealing with premises liability involving invitees. Other resources for handling employees include: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/l; https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/; https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html. Please review other posts related to COVID-19 published on this blog for additional information. If you have questions specific to your company’s individualized situation, contact Susan Brice (susan.brice@bclplaw.com) or Tom Lee (tom.lee@bclplaw.com). For any employment related questions, please contact the BCLP employment lawyer with whom you work or Lily Kurland (lily.kurland@bclplaw.com), who can provide you with information about guidelines and protocols they have developed to assist employers with these issues.

What Steps Should I take at My Premises to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19?

The CDC has set forth practices for businesses

Protecting Your Company, Your Employees and Your Customers in the Era of Coronavirus

COVID-19, a novel coronavirus, is disrupting world economies, day-to-day business operations, and even everyday life.  We are watching these developments closely and are analyzing the legal implications involving various sectors, including employers, manufacturers, retailers and property owners/operators.  Among other issues, we are specifically focusing on what, if any, legal duties might exist with respect to warnings as well as developments surrounding any standard of care.  Those issues have been litigated in the context of prior contagion events (e.g. Zika and Legionnaire’s disease), and may become the focus of new cases related to COVID-19.

In the meantime, litigation involving this outbreak has already begun.  A case alleging false and deceptive advertising as well as misrepresentation with regard to a product’s ability to fight the virus has been filed.  Additionally, cruise ship passengers have filed a lawsuit regarding how a ship handled its response to the virus.

If you have any questions

PFAS 101

March 11, 2020

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PFAS 101

March 11, 2020

Authored by: John Kindschuh and Tom Lee

In a world filled with acronyms, PFAS has started emerging as a topic of conversation, regulation, and litigation.  Enforcement actions and lawsuits have so far mostly focused on the companies that have manufactured two of the most widely used, and the most heavily regulated, PFAS compounds – PFOA and PFOS – but the scope of regulation and litigation is expanding further into this large family of compounds.

What are PFAS Chemicals?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) are a family of over 5,000 man-made fluorinated chemicals some of which have been used since the 1940’s across a variety of industries as part of manufacturing processes, and as components of consumer products.

PFAS are defined by having elemental bonds of fluorine and carbon, rendering them pervasive and persistent.  Significantly, this means that PFAS compounds do not break down easily either in the environment or in living organisms.

PFAS chemicals can repel both

No Binding Federal Drinking Water Regulations for 1,4-Dioxane

People want certainty from federal agencies.  We all yearn for direction, especially from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”).  Here is the information, albeit limited, we can use for 1,4-Dioxane.

What is 1,4-Dioxane?

1,4-Dioxane is a synthetic industrial chemical that is a colorless, clear, and flammable liquid with a faint odor.[1]

1,4-Dioxane was used as a solvent for extracting animal and vegetable oils as well as in the formulation of inks, coatings, and adhesives.  It also was also used as a solvent in processing crude petroleum, petroleum refining, and petrochemicals.[2]

1,4-Dioxane was (and sometimes currently still is) found in numerous goods, including deodorants, perfumes, mouthwashes, paints, cosmetics, detergents, certain plastics, and other products.[3]

What are the Drinking Water Requirements?

Notably, there is no maximum contaminant level (“MCL”) for 1,4-Dioxane.  To date, EPA has only issued a health advisory suggestion that others

Why Companies Should Consider Genomic Evidence In Defending Toxic Torts

March 5, 2020

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What is Genomics?

Genomics is the study of all the genes within an organism, including humans, and how all of those genes are interrelated and influence the organism.  Genetics is primarily focused on single genes.  Genomics involves sequencing and analysis of genomes through the use of DNA sequencing and bioinformatics.[1]

How are Genomics Being Used in Toxic Tort Litigation?

The use of genomics to defend toxic tort claims is emerging.   For example, defendants in recent cases involving asbestos, benzene, low-dose radiation and other substances have used genomics successfully.  These successes tend to occur after an early and careful look at the facts of a case.

For example, defendants recently and successfully used a genomic causation defense in two mesothelioma cases involving males, who developed peritoneal mesothelioma in their 30s, with little or no known exposure to asbestos fibers. The early age of cancer onset was a material fact

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