Wednesday, September 9, 2020
At Law.com, Amanda Bronstad has a piece covering the dismissal, without prejudice, of cases filed by passengers alleging they caught COVID-19 on a cruise ship. Two different federal judges in the Central District of California dismissed cases without prejudice from passengers alleging they actually caught COVID-19. An earlier ruling dismissed filings alleging only fear of catching COVID-19. Both judges focused on causation and injury, though the judges differed a bit on what would count as an injury, at least at the 12(b)(6) stage. Causation seemed to be the biggest problem for most of the cases, and it is unclear if the plaintiffs will be able to plead sufficient new facts to survive dismissal. If causation is difficult to establish when on a cruise ship for weeks, it will generally be much harder if allegations are brought against owners of grocery stores, gyms, etc. It will be interesting to watch as different factual variations appear.
More coverage at ABA Journal.