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“Will COVID-19 Liability Releases Hold Up in Court?” Risk Management


“Will COVID-19 Liability Releases Hold Up in Court?” Risk Management

Liability waivers and exculpatory clauses—such as the now-infamous assumption-of-risk language included in the online registration for a recent Donald J. Trump campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma—have become an increasingly typical accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Their proliferation may soon make COVID-19 disclaimers ubiquitous and largely overlooked, like so much other fine print that underscores our daily affairs,” Goldberg Segalla’s Jonathan S. Ziss, Christopher P. Maugans, and Jeffrey Cunningham write in Risk Management. “And yet, even on their face, COVID-19 disclaimers seem to represent a distinct variation on the genre. Certainly, this is not like agreeing to refrain from diving into a kiddie pool, or from pumping gas during a lightning storm.”

In their article, Jonathan, Chris, and Jeffrey examine issues that set COVID-19 liability waivers apart, and address implications for businesses, employers, and insurers.

Risk Management sought insight from Jonathan, Chris, and Jeffrey following  the release and wide circulation of a groundbreaking white paper on COVID-19 liability waivers produced by Goldberg Segalla’s COVID-19 Task Force.

Jonathan is a partner based in Philadelphia and chair of the firm’s Management and Professional Liability practice. Chris is a member of the firm’s Employment and Labor practice based in Buffalo. Jeffrey is a member of the Management and Professional Liability and General Liability practices based in Hartford and White Plains.