As the COVID-19 restrictions on businesses appear to be easing, clients have requested waivers to be signed by customers to protect them from liability in the event of an infection. While it would likely be difficult to prove where an infection originated, waivers can give peace of mind to the business as well as informing their customers that they are entering the business with the understanding and knowledge that they could be at higher risk to contract COVID-19 and are entering the business understanding that risk.
Waivers are primarily being sought by businesses whose clientele are either staying on the premises for a prolonged period of time or require being in close contact with staff when social distancing cannot be reasonably maintained, such as nail salons or other personal service businesses. However, waivers or not necessarily limited to these types of businesses, although it may not be practical for certain retail establishments to have every customer sign such a waiver.
While there are no court cases to date in Pennsylvania that have enforced a waiver involving contraction of COVID-19, Pennsylvania does enforce signed waiver releases when properly drafted with clear, unambiguous terms and language that is consistent with enforceable contracts under Pennsylvania law. Therefore, businesses are seeking additional protection by obtaining such waivers from customers or clients who wish to accept the risk of possible contraction of COVID-19 when patronizing a business.
The Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP is a full-service law firm in Media, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We strive to helppeople,businesses and institutions throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania solve legal problems – and even prevent legal problems before they occur. To learn more about the full range of our specific practice areas, please visit www.dioriosereni.com or contact Matthew H. Fry, Esquire at 610-565-5700 or at [email protected]
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