Fear of lawsuits holding the economy back
Last week, I spoke with a community college administrator. I asked him a couple of questions:
First, when do you want to re-open the campus? He said the sooner, the better.
Second, are you afraid of lawsuits? Darn right, he said. Then he added that many colleges are scared to death of a class action lawsuit.
My guess is that a lot of businessmen and school administrators know exactly what my friend was saying.
This is why we need litigation protection, as this editorial from the Las Vegas Review-Journal is indicating:
As states lift their coronavirus lockdowns, businesses face a host of obstacles, including reluctant customers, cautious workers and disrupted supply chains. But there's another gremlin lurking in the shadows that has gone largely unnoticed: the trial lawyers.
"Plaintiffs lawyers are massing to loot medical providers and employers in response to the coronavirus," read a headline in The Wall Street Journal last month.
The issue is nationwide. In Nevada, Randi Thompson, state director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, told the Review-Journal that business owners worry they will be held liable if an employee contracts COVID-19 upon returning to work. The federation conducted a poll which found that 68 percent of small business owners are very or moderately concerned about prospective lawsuits related to the virus.
"If Congress wants America to recover with any speed from this epidemic," the Journal noted, "we can't have a lawsuit epidemic, too."
Indeed. If employers are intimidated by the threat of litigation, the destruction will only worsen.
Indeed it will. This is why Congress needs to pass legislation that protects employers and school districts from lawsuit madness. Otherwise, important sectors of the economy may not open at all.