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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ebola Law: The Newly Emerging Practice Area

The newest legal practice area is Ebola Law. Like the rapidly developing infectious disease the legal ramifications of Ebola are quickly emerging. Issues from medical treatment, lost time payments, medical and product liability and false imprisonment are now being recognized as areas requiring legal expertise. Today's post is share from the
Is an employer liable if a worker gets infected with Ebola on a business trip? Can companies restrict employee travel to Africa, or can they require it? Does a company have to hold a job for an employee who is quarantined? What is the potential liability for a pharmaceutical company developing an Ebola vaccine?
Those are the types of questions that inspired Reed Smith to launch a Global Ebola Task Force consisting of about 20 lawyers from different disciplines to address Ebola legal issues. A press release is here, while the Washington Post, the Washingtonian and have stories.
The lawyer leading the task force is Patrick Bradley, a commercial litigator with a focus on aviation and products liability. He told that frequent questions involve companies that want to restrict or require travel to Africa. Companies with corporate jets want to know whether they have to question everyone who boards their aircraft. Airlines are also concerned about the standard of care that must be exercised when questioning passengers, and when passengers can be turned away.
The questions aren’t simple, nor are the answers, Bradley told the Washington Post. “Safety and common sense are paramount, but they’re also guided by World Health Organization directives, and each industry has its own regulatory overlay as well,” he said.
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