Type: Law Bulletins
Date: 03/13/2020

Environmental Legal Issues Related to COVID-19

With concerns increasing related to the continued spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), businesses may need legal advice and/or information about how to develop response protocols involving a variety of situations and locations. Of course, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to generate and publish a variety of guidance documents. However, those documents are not tailored to specific client situations and are certainly not one-size-fits-all protocols.

Taft has a great deal of experience in representing entities regarding potential or actual exposure issues involving toxic chemicals, mold, asbestos and biohazards. For example, we have represented a large automobile manufacturer in an airborne biohazard matter involving exposed workers at a large assembly plant; we have represented entities involving asbestos exposure issues; and we are currently representing a major university involving its response to systemic indoor mold growth issues and subsequent class action litigation. As part of our representation, we work with certified industrial hygienists, toxicologists, infectious disease professionals, engineers and remediation specialists. Please note that our attorneys will not provide advice related to medical or health issues. We will defer to the CIHs, toxicologists and infectious disease professionals with whom we work. However, we can and will provide input related to the strategic and liability issues involved in the response plans to be developed and/or implemented.

Summary of Environmental Services Taft Provides Related to COVID-19

  • Answer situation-specific operational questions and provide practical operations advice to limit client liability while facilitating ongoing operations (e.g., use of masks, HEPA filters, HVAC operation adjustments, etc.).
  • Work with our team of Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIHs) and specialized Cleaning Contractors to develop and implement protocols to test facilities and keep facilities clean and operating when an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Work with, where applicable, HVAC specialists to minimize transmission risks of COVID-19.
  • Provide updated guidance regarding protocols at least weekly based upon developing CDC and subject matter expert guidance. 

If you have any questions related to COVID-19 response, please contact Scott Alexander or another member of Taft’s Environmental practice.

Please visit our COVID-19 Toolkit for all of Taft’s updates on the coronavirus.

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