Faegre Drinker’s snap removal team closely monitors snap removal updates across the United States (for a basic explanation of snap removal and previous updates, see Faegre Drinker’s prior posts here; for a breakdown on which jurisdictions allow snap removal, see Faegre Drinker’s interactive snap removal map here).
On May 7, a California District Court Judge granted Victory Woodworks, Inc.’s (“Victory”) motion to dismiss all COVID-19 liability claims in plaintiffs Robert and Corby Kuciemba’s amended complaint. Kuciemba et al. v. Victory Woodworks Inc., No. 3:20-cv-09355 (N.D. Cal. 2020). Relying on a novel theory of liability, the Kuciembas alleged that Mr. Kuciemba contracted mild COVID-19 in the course and scope of his employment at Victory, and subsequently passed it on to his wife, who suffered a severe case of COVID-19 with lasting injury. The Kuciembas sought damages from Victory for Mrs. Kuciemba’s injuries related to COVID-19.
Pre-service removal—known colloquially as “snap removal”—continues to be adopted in more jurisdictions. For a basic explanation of snap removal, see Faegre Drinker’s prior posts here.
In Doe v. Daversa Partners, 2021 WL 736734, at *3 (D.D.C. Feb. 25, 2021), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia joins the Second, Third, and Fifth Circuit Courts of Appeal affirming the practice of snap removal. Noting that the D.C. Circuit had not yet opined on the issue, the Daversa court provided a thorough analysis and rationale for refusing remand under the circumstances.
A New Jersey District Court Judge has ruled that the March 2020 federal liability immunity statute for pandemic-related countermeasures does not create a basis for federal jurisdiction, resulting in the remand of two COVID-19-related personal injury actions.
On February 21, 2020, the cruise ship Grand Princess embarked from San Francisco, headed to Hawaii. Among the ship’s 3,533 passengers and crew were 62 people who had been exposed to COVID-19 on the ship’s immediate prior trip to Mexico. The Hawaii voyage was curtailed and the ship docked off the cost of California for two weeks, during which passengers were confined to their rooms and two dozen people tested positive. A number of personal injury lawsuits followed, the majority of which have been coordinated before Hon. R. Gary Klausner in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
With no approved vaccine, the world waits for the next big breakthrough in 2020’s medical emergency. Some companies already claim to have found it – and subsequently received warning letters from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for misbranding. The FTC is targeting companies promoting products with supposed COVID-19 cures, treatment or prevention for making illegal, unsubstantiated claims.
One of the FTC’s objectives is eliminating false and misleading information from the marketplace. The FTC Act defines false advertising as misleading in a “material respect,” which includes both affirmative statements and failure to “reveal facts material in the light of [the product’s] representations[.]” See 15 USC 55(a)(1).