Thomas Kane, Member of the Firm in the Litigation and Health Care and Life Sciences practices, in the firm’s Princeton office, was quoted in Law360 Employment Authority, in “New Jersey Regulation and Legislation to Watch in 2021,” by Bill Wichert. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is entering 2021 with an eye on winning a second term while his administration imposes restrictions on businesses due to the coronavirus outbreak and crafts regulations for selling adult-use recreational marijuana and implementing an environmental justice law, even as mandatory minimum sentencing reform remains stalled.

The Democratic governor's reelection bid will likely be shaped by his handling of a pandemic that has led to more than 400,000 total cases in the Garden State and over 18,000 confirmed and probable deaths. New Jersey restaurants and other businesses also have been forced to close their doors in the wake of state restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus. …

Here's a roundup of legislation and regulation to keep an eye on in 2021. …

COVID-19 Suit Immunity

As businesses navigate those restrictions, they also are eyeing pending state legislation that would grant them immunity from lawsuits related to workers' or customers' exposure to COVID-19.

Some bills — which were introduced over the summer but have not made it out of legislative committees — would shield businesses from those lawsuits if they complied in "good faith" with health and safety measures based on guidance and regulations from federal and state officials in order to "prevent or mitigate a person's exposure" to the virus.

While proving causation in such cases would be challenging for plaintiffs, immunity would give businesses greater certainty and the sense that, if they follow certain measures, they won't "get hit with a big verdict down the road," said Thomas Kane, a member of the litigation and health care and life sciences practices at Epstein Becker & Green PC.

"It's always the uncertainty and the fear of what could come down that creates the biggest problem for businesses as they're trying to plan," Kane said. "If everybody knew what they had to do, if everybody knew the right steps to take, most businesses are going to do it. Nobody wants to see their employees or their customers get this disease."

This article also appeared in Law360’s New Jersey Pulse. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.