LIABILITY WAIVERS FOR COVID CORONA VIRUS
Some states have passed laws restricting or preventing lawsuits related to the spread of Corona Virus, but Minnesota has not. However, we recently heard of a dentist office that makes its patients sign a Corona Virus liability waiver before coming into the dentist’s office. There is some question of whether that waiver would be enforceable in Minnesota for a dentist’s office, but it is still interesting that the dentist would try to do this to his patients. The dentist’s office claims it is “perfectly safe” to go there and they have done everything necessary to protect their patients from being exposed to the Corona Virus. But shouldn’t requiring a waiver make their patients doubt, or at least think twice, about going there for a routine procedure like an oral exam and cleaning?
Most likely, the dentist just thinks he needs to protect himself from “frivolous lawsuits.” Our personal injury lawyers are not aware of any legal cases in MN related to the spread of Corona Virus. We imagine it would be quite a challenge in most cases to prove exactly where and how a person was exposed to it. The point is that, in the unlikely event there was an outbreak tied to the dentist’s office, the dentist wants to make sure he doesn’t have to take responsibility for it.
It is important to know that in Minnesota, liability waivers are enforceable in many (not all) situations. Sometimes they make sense, like if you are engaging in a risky and non essential activity such as skiing or even working out on exercise equipment at a gym. But in all situations, you should read the liability waiver carefully before signing, and cross out language that is too broad. And you should really think about not signing the waiver at all and just taking your business somewhere else.