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What You Need To Know About Louisiana’s COVID-19 Protections For Businesses

6.22.20

The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant uncertainty for businesses across the country – but there is some good news for Louisiana employers and businesses. As offices, worksites, and other places of businesses reopen, many had been concerned about possible litigation brought by an employee or patron who claims to have contracted COVID-19 while on the premises. Fortunately, Louisiana has enacted legislation to limit business liability related to these types of COVID-19 claims. What do employers and businesses need to know?

Litigation Shield Laws, Summarized

The following are the highlights of these laws. 

How You Can Lose Protection

Each of these statutes provides that a business may lose the immunity if it exhibits gross negligence or commits willful and wanton misconduct that leads to the alleged injury. Establishing these standards is difficult for plaintiffs. Louisiana defines “gross negligence” as the want of even slight care and diligence and the want of that diligence which even careless men are accustomed to exercise. In common terms, gross negligence exists when there is an entire absence of care. To reach the level of gross negligence, an offender must not only show a lack of care, but must show an entire, utter, complete, or extreme lack of care.

Meanwhile, “willful or wanton misconduct” is the act of engaging in intentional or reckless misconduct that caused the COVID-19-related injury.

What Should You Do?

Only one of the statutes expressly states that compliance with the guidelines and procedures applicable to your business is necessary to trigger these protections. While the others do not contain similar language, it is highly likely that failing to make an effort to comply with safety guidelines will be significant evidence against businesses seeking the immunities. For this reason, you should familiarize yourself with the following specific guidance:

Louisiana has provided businesses with a high level of protection that would require some truly careless conduct to be lost. To maintain the benefits of this statutes, you should make sure your policies and procedures are in line with applicable guidance while verifying compliance with those policies.

Fisher Phillips will continue to monitor the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation and provide updates as appropriate. Make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ Alert System to get the most up-to-date information. For further information, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney, any attorney in our New Orleans office, or any member of our Post-Pandemic Strategy Group Roster. You can also review our FP BEYOND THE CURVE: Post-Pandemic Back-To-Business FAQs For Employers and our FP Resource Center For Employers.


This Legal Alert provides an overview of a specific developing situation. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.

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