McGuireWoods Charlottesville partner Craig Wood was quoted in a May 29, 2020, Chronicle of Higher Education article titled “Why the Fall Will Be a Liability Minefield.” The article explored COVID-19 liability issues colleges and universities may face when students return to campus.
Most experts interviewed for the story agreed that colleges cannot shield themselves from liability merely by having students sign waivers when they arrive on campus. But waivers can increase awareness of the risks and communal responsibilities associated with the ongoing pandemic, the article noted.
Wood, a labor and employment partner who advises higher education institutions, said the documents should not be what courts call “a contract of adhesion” that coerces signers who have no other options or don’t understand the documents.
A member of the firm’s COVID-19 Response Team, Wood co-authored a recent client alert on issues colleges and universities will need to address in response to the pandemic. He also co-authored an article on the firm’s Class Action Countermeasures blog outlining strategies for defeating class action claims against higher education institutions.