Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Audrey Anderson provided insight for an article in Education Dive examining the issues facing colleges and universities following closures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and how to proceed for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. Schools are grappling with how to reopen while also keeping students and faculty safe and healthy. To safeguard against potential lawsuits, higher education associations have requested Congress for liability protection.
Lawsuits involving COVID-19 and schools could be challenging, “because no one knows the standard to which colleges would be held liable in this type of case … this virus is so new that there isn’t an established baseline of what is reasonable in legal terms,” said Audrey. “A party suing a college would need to prove the institution didn’t make reasonable efforts to keep them healthy,” she continued.
“Right now there’s nothing you can do that will make sure you’ll absolutely be able to win if someone sues you,” warned Audrey.
The full article, “Colleges Seek Cover From Lawsuits Over Coronavirus Spread,” was published by Education Dive on May 29 and is available online.