The recent dismissal of the Missouri Smithfield meatpacking worker safety lawsuit, applying the primary jurisdiction doctrine, may prove useful to employer-defendants in future suits involving worker safety, Ballard Spahr attorneys write. However, employers should keep in mind a number of caveats, especially in areas with many confirmed COVID-19 infections.

As businesses begin the process of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, some observers, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have predicted a flood of litigation alleging unsafe workplace conditions that put employees and customers at increased risk of infection.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Labor Report, June /2020

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