MANHASSET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There are new concerns for business owners as they begin to rebuild after the coronavirus pandemic, so some are asking patrons to sign liability waivers.
As small businesses slowly reopen, many owners are doing all they can to limit exposure to the coronavirus and to potential lawsuits.READ MORE: New York State Legislature Votes To Curb Gov. Cuomo's Emergency Powers
“We do have a waiver that our guests sign before they come up,” said Jamie Mazzei from Nubest Salon in an interview with CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan. “We’ve had no resistance with that at all.”
Nubest Salon client Heather O’Shea said with extreme sanitizing and safety precautions taken, she readily signed an agreement not to sue should infection occur.
“If it was a different situation where they weren’t being as careful in following those CDC guidelines, there is no way that I would sign a waiver,” said O’Shea. “I’m doing it because I have faith in the establishment.”
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Waivers that protect against liability from a COVID-19 infection have yet to be tested in court.READ MORE: Brooklyn Mom Wants NYC Apartments Inspected Annually After Parts Of Ceiling Crash Down On 12-Year-Old Son
In the past, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld waivers that limit rather than elevate the right to sue.
“I don’t think a lawsuit like this is really going to be very successful, especially on the negligence standard because the science seems to support the fact that you can contract the virus anywhere,” said Richard Jaffe, a New Hyde Park malpractice and personal injury attorney.
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And that is the argument from a consortium of Long Island business owners appealing to Congressional leaders to support a federal liability shield.
“It will protect businesses who may be susceptible to frivolous COVID-19 lawsuits,” said Kyle Strober from the Association For A Better Long Island.MORE NEWS: Immersive Public Art Installation Now On Display At Domino Park
Small businesses say they are following CDC guidelines and are hanging on by a thread. A lawsuit would put them under.