INSIGHT: Doctrine of Primary Jurisdiction—An Ace for Dismissing COVID-19 Suits?

by Aliza Karetnick, Brian D. Pedrow, and Elizabeth Schilken
June 11, 2020
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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