Navigation Links
Swine Flu Plans Triggering Difficult Legal Questions, Says Noted Pillsbury Attorney
Date:4/28/2009

Managing sick and concerned workers, navigating quarantine barriers and liabilities are just a few of the impact areas facing epidemic-wary managers

NEW YORK, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Business managers following swine flu's (H1N1 influenza) spread and monitoring government advisories should prepare to handle difficult legal issues triggered by an escalating epidemic or worst-case pandemic scenario, says New York litigation partner Kenneth W. Taber, head of Pillsbury's Disaster Planning and Liability Management Team, which advises the City of New York and other clients on emergency and disaster response plans for natural disaster, epidemic, terrorism and other crisis scenarios.

"Epidemics pose particularly difficult issues because unlike a hurricane or terrorist bomb, the scope of impact is not immediately clear and changes rapidly," Taber explains. "Compared to asking when a fire can be extinguished or electricity restored, diseases present companies with more complicated questions, such as whether they can lawfully demand employees provide proof of vaccination, bar sick employees from the office or compel healthy -- but fearful -- staff from reporting for work."

Taber adds that even well-intentioned companies seeking to accommodate employees' concerns and assist health authorities can inadvertently incur liability if they distribute medications, for example. They can also run afoul of provisions in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) if certain health records are improperly shared or flu-infected workers allege discrimination. He notes that some organizations, such as federally-supported universities and government contractors are subject to different regulations apart from other areas of the private sector.

Because disease outbreaks are difficult to identify and contain quickly and can persist over time with varying effects, Taber advises clients to take an integrated approach to planning for all manner of related business disruptions, from reduced staff levels to constricted supply chains, missed deadlines and service failures.

"After addressing their top priority of human health and welfare, organizations have to look at what could happen in adverse impact; if an offshore parts supplier or service provider is in a particularly hard-hit region and incapacitated or if the company itself is unable to serve customers due to an epidemic -- liabilities and legal implications could vary," Taber explains.

"Quarantines can cause significant disruptions. Clients need to determine whether they will follow voluntary quarantines affecting their workforce, or how tightened border screening of potentially contaminated goods and travelers will affect their logistics and business travel requirements. These questions are best asked in advance, before costly delays and interruptions force the issue."

Taber recommends that organizations routinely review, revise and test their emergency response plans to ensure they reflect both changing needs of the organization and accepted risk and compliance levels.

"Epidemics lead many businesses to cancel travel and encourage employees to work from home -- putting higher demand on computer systems and IT staff as a result," he notes. "Unless management has adequately planned for and practiced secure tele-commuting, there could be data privacy risks if employees are untrained on following office technology policies outside their cubicles or use improperly configured laptops -- these are hard problems to fix once employees are stuck at home."

In alliance with the American Red Cross in Greater New York, Protiviti and LMI Government Consulting, Pillsbury's Disaster Planning & Liability Management (DPLM) program has developed a customized proprietary methodology that effectively assesses disaster-related liability exposure and enables crisis management and business continuity plans to be properly aligned with risk management objectives.

Pillsbury's DPLM methodology helps both municipalities and private corporations understand the nature and scope of their exposure to disaster-related liability--calculating the risk, developing legal and operational strategies to manage it, and implementing required changes to an organization's crisis management and business continuity plans.

About Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Pillsbury takes an industry-focused, multidisciplinary approach to litigation, corporate and regulatory matters impacting global business and trade. Our core strengths and 140-year legacy of innovation allow us to anticipate trends to help clients thrive in a changing world, particularly when it comes to energy and the environment, technology (including clean tech and biotech), and infrastructure. We also have strong regulatory experience in those areas facing significant policy reform: financial services, real estate, climate change, executive compensation, and healthcare. In addition to our strong U.S. presence, we serve clients in the world's major financial centers, including London, Tokyo, Shanghai, and most recently, Abu Dhabi, through Pillsbury's affiliation with Agha & Shamsi LLC.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Swine flu monitoring needed for farm workers, study says
2. eFoodSafety Enters Research Agreement with University of Minnesota to Test New Food-Grade Antiviral for Swine Influenza Virus
3. Swine Flu Cases Now Total 7: CDC
4. At Least 16 Dead, Hundreds Ill in Swine Flu Outbreak in Mexico
5. At Least 20 Dead, Hundreds Ill in Swine Flu Outbreak in Mexico
6. International SOS Releases Web Site to Educate Public About Swine Flu Outbreak
7. WHO Warns of Possible Pandemic as Mexico Seeks to Contain Swine Flu
8. U.S. Declares Public Health Emergency in Response to Swine Flu
9. Obama Says Swine Flu Outbreak No Cause for Alarm
10. Pennsylvania Working Closely With Federal Partners to Contain Impact of Swine Flu
11. Swine Flu: Infection Control in Hospitals Will Be Critical
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... announced today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. This new relationship ... of the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star ... , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered ... both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ... , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to ... a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June ... , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to ... is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced ... BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution ... this clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in ... sepsis risk assessment and management. PCT is ... levels in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology ... outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 ... 30, 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A ... product of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will ... 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LONDON , June 23, 2016 ... environments  Oticon , industry leaders in ... the launch of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s ... world of possibilities for IoT devices.      ... Opn, Oticon introduces a number of ,world firsts,: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: