The Chronicle of Higher Education Features Mark H. Moore in Article on Colleges’ Liability Amidst COVID-19
As colleges and universities across the country make decisions about whether to return to in-person classes in the fall, and what that will look like, they face numerous obstacles and liability concerns. The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article on May 29 illuminating the many issues, featuring quotes and comments from several attorneys in the field, including RPJ’s Mark H. Moore, who has provided counsel in the education field on several matters and written extensively about Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s controversial proposed Title IX regulations addressing sexual assault on college campuses.
The article, “Why the Fall Will Be a Liability Minefield,” highlights that while many in university leadership might think (or hope) that waivers can provide legal protections to the universities from liability for COVID exposure, such waivers may be of limited value. One issue with waivers, as Moore points out, is that in New York State at least, even though there are no restrictions on educational institutions requiring waivers, there are restrictions on waivers for landlords and recreational activities. Colleges provide both of those things, so any waiver they could come up with might not apply regardless.
The article further details the problems, and potential problems, with updating handbook policies, as well as the difficulty, if colleges do open successfully, of avoiding an additional onslaught of refund lawsuits should another wave of the virus hit. Considering the likelihood of that second wave, Moore said, “I think we are really in for a shock.”
The full article was published on the Chronicle of Higher Education website for premium subscribers only. If you are a subscriber, you can view it here.