On 9 November 2021, a Chilean woman requested the Undersecretariat of Public Health copy of the vaccines' patents, the details of each of their components, information on their origin and common uses, their usual uses, as well as what function they fulfill in the formula of each of the vaccines. The claimant also asked whether there had been any changes in the composition of each of the vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 that have been used in Chile and the information on each component.
In January 2021, the owner of a restaurant filed with the Superior Court of California a class action seeking refunds for the fees, taxes, and/or charges (and any penalty fees) levied by the County and State entities against them during the period when they were forced to close or to severely limit their business activities on account of COVID-related executive orders.
On 23 January 2023 the Kenyan High Court ruled that commercial banks could resume charging transfers from bank accounts to mobile money operators. The charges had been suspended in 2020 when, due to the pandemic, the Central Bank of Kenya decided to set favorable conditions for the promotion of cashless and online payment methods, at a time when business were under lockdown.
On 18 January 2023 the High Court of Delhi supported the claim of a secondary school teacher challenging the school’s request to get vaccinated before being allowed to teach. The court noted that the personal autonomy of any individual includes the right to refuse medical treatments and, therefore, the right to refuse vaccination.
As part of his efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, President Biden issued a series of vaccine mandates. The Supreme Court of the United States has already enjoined the federal government from enforcing the OSHA-issued mandate for large employers but has upheld the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers (see the relevant stories published on 15 January 2022 and 21 January 2022 respectively).
On 25 January 2023, the Tokushima District Court dismissed a restaurant’s lawsuit asking compensation for reputational damage caused by public authorities when, in July 2020, they made it known to the public that a person, later confirmed as a COVID case, had entered into the premises. The plaintiff claimed that the name of the restaurant was made known without consent and that the spread of the news had damaged its reputation.
On 19 January 2021, a man was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for the offence of tax fraud. Following this decision, he filed a habeas corpus application, alleging the violation of his rights to effective procedural protection, due process, reasonable time, due motivation of judicial decisions, judicial impartiality, and the principle of legal certainty.
The Madras High Court ruled that kin of health workers deceased during the pandemic and eligible for compensation cannot claim double payments, relying on both schemes provided by the state government and schemes provided by the central government.
In 2015, a company and other co-obligors purchased a cleaning franchise. Pursuant to the relevant asset purchase agreement, a portion of the franchise purchase price was to be paid in monthly installments from September 2018 to May 2022 and with a final balloon payment in May 2022. Under the contract, failure to pay any of the installments would have triggered the seller’s option to demand immediate payment of all outstanding sums.
On 5 March 2020, the Governor of Maryland issued an executive order requiring that pubs and restaurants close by 5pm. Such businesses were permitted to sell their products for carry-out, drive-through, or delivery if they complied with the social distancing measures in force at that time.
Health New Zealand applied to the High Court for an order that a 6-month-old baby be placed under the guardianship of the Court for the purpose of consenting to surgery and blood transfusion. In particular, the plaintiff submitted that the baby has a severe obstruction to the right ventricle, causing increased thickening.
On 14 November 2022, the High Court of Justice of Galicia has declared the nullity of a dismissal of an employee who was removed from his duties for not wanting to vaccinate against COVID-19. The judgment was recently published.
On 12 December 2022, the Zweibrücken Higher Regional Court in Germany has ruled that a 15-year-old girl has the right to decide about her own health and be vaccinated against the coronavirus, despite her mother’s opposition.
The court was asked to determine whether Article 4(1) of a law passed on 24 December 2020 is compatible with Articles 10 and 11 of the Constitution, in that it allowed for the suspension of the limitation period of public action introduced by Article 3 of Royal Decree No. 3 of 9 April 2020 applies generally, without excluding procedures for which judgment has been delayed for reasons that are unrelated to the health crisis that justified the introduction of this suspension.
Through a class action, the plaintiffs alleged the gross negligence of the Government of Ontario (i.e., the Minister of Long-Term Care and the Chief Medical Officer of Health) in managing the spread of the pandemic, ultimately resulting in the death of thousands of elderly residents in provincially-regulated long-term care (“LTC”) homes.
On 12 January 2023, the European Court of Justice has decided in a dispute between two travellers and a German travel organiser, concerning the price reduction of a package tour, claimed as a result of restrictions imposed at the place of destination (Gran Canaria) in order to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In December 2022, a court in Germany has ruled that COVID-19 infections are not considered occupational injuries and that three female teachers and a financial officer who contracted the virus cannot claim benefits under the public sector pension scheme in North Rhine-Westphalia.
On 16 December 2022, the High Court of Calcutta heard a case filed by a Christian teacher who challenged a notice issued by his school which demanded submission of COVID-19 vaccine certificate in order to be able to work.
On 12 December 2022, the Supreme Court of Ohio answered a question certified by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in the context of a COVID-related business interruption case.
During the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of medically vulnerable and disabled individuals held pretrial at the Shelby County Jail filed a class action asserting claims under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for unconstitutional punishment and unconstitutional confinement and for disability discrimination under the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) on account of the prison’s inability to protect them against the risk of contracting COVID-19.
On 25 October 2022, the Provincial Court of Palma de Mallorca (Balearic Islands) upheld the judgment of a lower court ordering an insurer to compensate a rural hotel owner with almost €100,000 due to the establishment’s forced closure for COVID-19 restrictions in 2020.
On 9 December 2022, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal by the Public Prosecutor’s Office against the judgment of the High Court of Justice of the Balearic Islands upholding the confinement of students in Mallorca during a study trip in 2021.
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