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Boston Globe, Employers face legal minefield amid pandemic

April 30, 2020
Boston Globe

As business leaders contemplate the thawing of this economic deep-freeze, they might want to brace for a flood of litigation that could follow.

The trickle has already started: A lawsuit is filed against Walmart over a worker’s death in Illinois. The owner of a lifestyle center in Rhode Island takes tenants to court over missed lease payments. Amazon faces potential class-action litigation accusing it of price gouging.

Yes, most disputes will be worked out. After all, it’s usually in the best interests of both sides to avoid litigation, a maxim that might be more true during a global pandemic. However, attorneys at Boston law firms say they expect the legal tussles to increase significantly, particularly after the largely shuttered state courts are fully reopened.

Elizabeth Levine, an employment lawyer at Goulston & Storrs, said the coronavirus creates a new kind of “minefield for employers.’’

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