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Navigating the impact of COVID-19

How to manage consumer risk

Companies, states and state entities may face claims arising out of contract or tort where their acts or omissions cause loss or damage to individuals (consumers).

When a group of individuals is affected in the same way, the risk of mass claims or class actions arise, depending on the jurisdiction.

A broad array of claims across a number of industries is possible, including as set out below.

Claims against companies

Travel industry
  • Claims for breach of duty or care, non-performance of contracts or compensation arising out of the cancellation of flights, cruises, all-inclusive-tours, hotel and other travel bookings.
  • Claims for failure to comply with safety obligations when travel is not cancelled and passengers/customers are exposed to health risks or quarantine.
Major events/sporting events/fairs
  • Claims for reimbursement or compensation of costs, such as travel and accommodation costs, arising out of the cancellation of major events.
  • Claims for failure to comply with safety obligations when major events are not cancelled and participants/spectators are exposed to health risks or quarantine.
Insurance companies
  • Claims relating to travel or health insurance policies.
  • Insolvency-related insurance claims.
Banking and finance
  • Potential prospectus liability claims for failing to disclose (or disclose adequately) new economic risks that are related to COVID-19.
Automotive/consumer
  • Claims relating to non-performance or delay in performance of sales contracts (eg in the automotive industry due to interruption of supply chains).

Claims against states/state entities

Claims for damages relating to official measures, state imposed prohibitions and restrictions including:

  • travel warnings or bans;
  • the closure of borders;
  • quarantine orders; and
  • university/school closures.

Claims for failure to put adequate safeguards in place to limit the impact of outbreaks.

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