Richmond Law Features Tarry and Walsh’s Infectious Disease Litigation Guide

March 26, 2021

Several McGuireWoods lawyers were featured in Richmond Law, the University of Richmond School of Law alumni magazine, for a March 9, 2021, article titled “8 Things to Know When Suing and Defending in a Post-COVID World.”

The article provided an overview of “Infectious Disease Litigation: Science, Law and Procedure,” a new guide co-edited by McGuireWoods partners Samuel Tarry and Davis Walsh that is designed to help litigators prepare for pandemic-related lawsuits. Among the book’s 32 authors — many of them Richmond Law alumni — are several McGuireWoods lawyers also featured in the Richmond Law article: Richmond associates Maggie Bowman, Etahjayne Harris, Sylvia Kastens and Frank Talbott (all Products, Environmental & Mass Tort Litigation); Richmond partner Brandon Santos (Government Investigations & White Collar Litigation); and downtown Los Angeles partner and class action practice co-chair Bethany Lukitsch (Antitrust, Trade & Commercial Litigation).

“Some of them wrote entirely from home,” Tarry said. “Some wrote from the office, but the work experience had changed. Everybody had a different work experience than they would have had if we had published a year earlier, and they had different personal perspectives.”

The Richmond Law article highlighted several takeaways from the guide:

  1. The litigation issues surrounding infectious diseases are vast.
  2. Practitioners should have a solid grounding in the applicable science.
  3. Product litigation standards likely will continue to shift.
  4. Practitioners should develop a HIPAA-compliant discovery plan at the beginning of litigation.
  5. A pandemic tests the limits of governmental power.
  6. Plaintiffs likely will bring similar allegations and questions of fact to courts in multiple jurisdictions.
  7. These cases are less likely to go to jury trial, but when they do, a jury’s ability to understand complex issues will play a significant role.
  8. Punitive damages will hinge on whether a defendant knew or should have known a risk of harm related to its actions.