The parent of a minor seized a court in Uruguay with an amparo action, claiming the illegality of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns on children under 13 years of age and requesting the suspension of the treatment.
In September 2021, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) issued a vaccine mandate requiring all students who were 12 years and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for enrollment and continued attendance in school. The mandate had then been suspended between April 2022 and July 2023.
On 26 May 2022, the Constitutional Court of Guatemala held that the state company managing the water for Guatemala City had not infringed the right to health of the city’s population but highlighted the importance of secure water supply during the pandemic (exp. n°4699-2021).
With a decision of 15 June 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that COVID-19 does not qualify as a natural disaster under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act’s natural-disaster exception.
While the general trend of both state and federal courts is to dismiss policyholder claims for COVID-19-related business interruption losses (see here), by the decision of 15 June 2022, the Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, upheld – by a majority – an appeal filed by an insured restaurant which had claimed that the all-risks insurance policy it had purchased from its insurer provided coverage for any loss or damage caused by continuous contamination by COVID-19.
On 27 May 2022, the Court of First Instance n°12 of Barcelona rejected claims to apply the judicial doctrine of the ‘rebus sic stantibus’ clause to a commercial lease, because the claimant had not sufficiently proven that the contractual equilibrium was reliably breached.
On 3 June 2022, the Council of State rejected the claims of the Customary Senate of New Caledonia and several individuals to annul the results of the vote that took place on 12 December 2021 during the consultation on the accession to full sovereignty of New Caledonia (decision nº459711).
A federal district court in Tennessee has granted the motion to dismiss filed by a federally funded hospital in a lawsuit brought by a healthcare worker to challenge the hospital’s decision to require all healthcare employees to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or face termination.
On 25 May 2022, the French Council of State held that it was discriminatory to exclude families of holders of a scientific residence card from the possibility to enter France (coming from a non-European country), compared to the legal regime for the holders of a talent passport who can bring family with them (decision nº 450085).
The Colombian Constitutional Court held that, by failing to prioritize midwives in the National Vaccination Plan against COVID-19 and by excluding them from the economic aid regime, the authorities violated their fundamental rights to health, equality, non-discrimination, and ethnic diversity.
On 13 May, the 3rd Labor Court of Jerez de la Frontera (judgment n°232/2022) held that a cleaner at the town’s hospital, who had been infected with COVID-19 in March 2020, could be considered to have suffered from an occupational accident.
On 27 May 2022, a Scottish Employment Tribunal (case No. 4112457/2021) held that an employee was a disabled person within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010 in the period between 25 November 2020 and 13 August 2021 because he had symptoms of long-term COVID.
Upon the advent of the COVID-19, a legal assistant at law firm Moore Ingram Johnson & Steel, who had a family history of Guillain-Barre syndrome, began suffering from severe anxiety related to being potentially exposed to COVID-19 based, in particular, on her belief that, on account of her family’s medical history, she would be at increased risk of death or serious illness if she contracted COVID-19.
On 19 May 2022, the French Council of State rejected claims of an individual who had challenged the relevant provisions establishing the health pass (decree of 7 June 2021), arguing that it had established an unjustified difference of treatment between those who had received vaccines authorized by the European Medicine Agency and those other who had taken Sinopharm, only authorized by the WHO (decision nº 454621).
On 14 June 2022, the Supreme Court of New York upheld a lower court decision and ruled that New York Botanical Garden – a non-profit organization which conducts research and education about plant science – is entitled to coverage under a Pollution Legal Liability policy for "contingent business interruption" loss – which it had stipulated with Allied World Assurance Company (U.S.) Inc. – on account of governmental orders shutting down its operations in response to COVID-19.
On 8 October 2021, the Douglas County Health Department and the Douglas County Board issued a COVID-19 related Public Health Order that had the effect of loosening mask and quarantine requirements for public school students in Douglas County, Colorado. The Douglas County School District and nine School District students with disabilities filed a suit alleging that the Public Health Order violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
On 2 June 2022, the Spanish Constitutional Court upheld the exception of unconstitutionality against Article 10.8 of the Law of the Contentious Jurisdiction (Ley de la Jurisdicción Contencioso-Administrativa), amended by Law 3/2020, which had established that general scope health measures restrictive of fundamental rights adopted by regional authorities should be authorized by courts (the High Courts of Justice of the country’s autonomous communities) to be fully effective.
A criminal court in Lokoja sentenced a man to two months imprisonment for allegedly spreading fake news about the rate of deaths in Kogi at the height of COVID-19 pandemic through his Facebook profile, thus raising false alarm across the community.
On 7 June 2022, the High Court of Justice handed down a new judgment regarding the application of Schedule 10 of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (CIGA), along with the accompanying Insolvency Practice Direction.
On 30 May 2022, the Provincial Court of Barcelona upheld a pioneer judgment in first instance (Juzgado de Primera Instancia nº 20 de Barcelona) finding that the rebus sic stantibus clause should apply to the leases of 27 hotels between April 2020 and March 2021, reducing their rent by 50% over that period.
With a judgement of 24 May 2022, delivered in the case of 55 Oak Street LLC v. RDR Enterprises Inc., the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine weighed in on a controversial legal issue related to the applicability of a force majeure clause in the context of emergency pandemic orders.
On 23 May 2022, the Galician High Court held that a journalist had the right to access the data about the number of COVID-19 contagions and deaths in individual private care homes of the region (judgment n°198/2022 of the 3rd chamber of the administrative section).
On 16 May 2022, the Croatian Constitutional Court held that the holding of a referendum to include 'epidemics and pandemics' in the constitutional provision which would require stricter preconditions for limiting fundamental rights during a state of emergency, was unconstitutional.
On 13 May 2022, the Supreme Court of Louisiana found that the limits on gatherings and the stay-at-home mandates provided for by two executive orders issued by the Governor were unconstitutional as applied to the defendant church.
On 20 May 2022, the South Korean Supreme Court upheld the first and second-degree acquittal verdicts in favor of a number of civil servants, who were found not guilty of the offence of breach of professional secrecy of a public official.
In April 2020, a worker rights group filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), claiming that a number of meat processing companies failed to protect their workers from coronavirus hazards and were held responsible for serious COVID-19 outbreaks at their facilities. Following two inspections of the relevant sites, OSHA filed suits against these companies.
In a judgment dated 13 May 2022, the Bombay High Court upheld the appeal of a university employee and accepted the conciliatory proposal of the Symbiosis Center for International Education (SCIE) University, which had formally requested the non-vaccinated employee to go on unpaid leave until they produced the vaccination certificate.
On 19 May 2022, the Belgian Constitutional Court annulled several provisions of a legislative decree of the Walloon Region of 3 December 2020 confirming the suspension of time limits for appeals applicable to annulment proceedings before the Council of State relating to acts taken by administrative authorities and to the regulations of the Walloon Region.
On 19 May 2022, the Italian Council of State reversed a first instance judgment holding that a school closure imposed by the region of Campania was not justified and quashing the administrative order (case n°4407 2022).
On 26 May 2022, the Latvian Constitutional Court dismissed claims of secondary school students who had argued that their right to education protected by Article 112 of the Latvian Constitution were violated because they had received distance learning after the end of the emergency situation provoked by the pandemic (case No. 2021-33-0103).
The Italian Constitutional Court was asked to evaluate whether criminal sanctions related to quarantine measures violate constitutional personal freedom (Article 13 of the Italian Constitution) and should be set aside.
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