Lindsmith discusses pandemic-related litigation

Firm News

There are many similarities between today’s COVID-19 pandemic and the flu pandemic of 1918. However, there is one glaring difference. In the publication, “The Novel Pandemic Jurisprudence,” featured in the Fall 2020 edition of Columbus Bar Lawyers Quarterly, Litigation partner Quintin Lindsmith discusses the major difference between litigation during both pandemics. Namely, that pandemic-related cases have significantly increased this time around. As of August 2020, over 4,000 COVID-related lawsuits had been filed.  But in the aftermath of the 1918 pandemic, only five U.S. Supreme Court cases even mentioned the pandemic, usually in passing and unrelated to the legal issues before it.  Lindsmith states, “There may be several reasons why there was so little flu-related litigation during and after the first pandemic. Overall, the U.S. was a much less litigious society in 1918 [because] the jurisprudence in a number of areas was undeveloped or non-existent.” He also writes that today’s jurisprudence “will hopefully aid society when the next pandemic comes around, which some health professionals say may be coming much sooner than every 100 years.”

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