Causal Proof in the Pandemic

10 Wake Forest L. Rev. Online 124 (2020)

25 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2020

See all articles by Betsy Grey

Betsy Grey

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: November 5, 2020

Abstract

In COVID-19 exposure cases, injured plaintiffs seeking compensation face a nearly insurmountable burden of proving causation given the highly contagious nature of the virus, the multiple sources of exposure plaintiffs may experience, and the developing state of the art on effective mitigation measures to prevent viral spread. This essay explores these issues. It examines the difficulty, in COVID-19 cases, of proving causation in different business settings, and compares those difficulties with other tort cases involving clusters of injury, such as toxic exposure and food poisoning cases. It concludes by examining whether the need to compensate COVID-19 victims, especially essential workers, would be better served by enactment of alternative federal compensation schemes, with lower causal proof requirements.

Keywords: Torts, Causal Proof, Evidence, Pandemic, COVID-19

Suggested Citation

Grey, Betsy, Causal Proof in the Pandemic (November 5, 2020). 10 Wake Forest L. Rev. Online 124 (2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3725809 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3725809

Betsy Grey (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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