Failure to Require Employee Vaccinations Could Constitute Negligence
Liability for Failure to Take Reasonable Precautions Against Deadly Risk
By: Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
Banzhaf not only teaches Torts, including negligence, but has been involved in some of the leading and most innovative civil liability cases. For example, his law suits forced former vice president Spiro Agnew to return money he received as bribes, McDonald's to settle for over $12 million a suit because of ads its french fries, and the banning of cigarette commercials.
The professor explains that the law of negligence requires that businesses take reasonable precautions to prevent any reasonably foreseeable risk. Since exposure to COVID-19 is obviously a foreseeable risk, that duty now applies to most businesses, as well as to medical establishments.
Since experts agree that people who have been vaccinated have only a minute chance of infecting those around them, requiring employees to be vaccinated would be seen as a reasonable precaution to take.
Also, as the percentage of Americans who have been fully vaccinated continues to grow, it will seem increasingly unreasonable for businesses to expose patients, customers, people working on their campuses, etc. to the risks created by the small number of people who create a deadly risk by refusing to be vaccinated.
Indeed, Banzhaf foresees a time in the near future when entities, in an effort to reassure the public, will tout that "all staff members have been vaccinated" as vigorously and as they now proudly announce how frequently they disinfect surfaces.