The Post-Pandemic Legal Landscape

According to hospitality law expert Greg Duff: ‘There doesn’t seem to be the wave of COVID claims we initially feared.’

At an HSMAI webinar on May 25, Greg Duff, principal and chair of the hospitality, travel, and tourism practice at Foster Garvey, discussed what hospitality professionals should expect from a legal perspective as the industry moves beyond COVID. Watch the full video below — but first get a taste of Duff’s presentation below:

“There doesn’t seem to be the wave of COVID claims we initially feared, relating to guests alleging they caught COVID on property,” Duff said. “Some of this is because it’s difficult to prove you caught COVID on property as opposed to any other experiences. Some states have added additional protections and civil immunities, so in the eyes of the law, a property or business is immune to liability around COVID, but each state’s language and statute is different.

“For most clients who have gone to great efforts to establish protocols and practices and provide assurances that their environment is safe and clean, it’s a bit of a contradiction when you then tell the guests that, despite everything you told them about how clean this is, if they contract COVID the hotel is not responsible, so many clients haven’t pursued a general COVID release. What many have done is look at existing waivers used on property such as spa releases, activity waivers, pool, etc. In those instances, it’s not difficult to add language that talks about contraction of COVID or similar illnesses.”

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