Tort Law, Re-opening and Being Sued by Employees During Lockdown

Tort Law, Re-opening and Being Sued by Employees During Lockdown

Should you open that business in Nigeria when the government has said NO? Can your employees sue you in the court if they contract coronavirus while working because you have not followed government-sanctioned protocols?  What is the tort law saying here, in Nigeria, and what can trial lawyers do? Tort law determines whether an entity should be held legally accountable for an injury against another entity. If you disobey government directions and open, exposing workers and employees to risks, you are playing with fire! Follow the politicians because they speak with executive orders – and those are secondary regulations!

Academic disputation continues as to whether Nigerian courts are bound to apply English decisions subsequent to 1900. From a practical point of view, however, such decisions are treated as authorities which ought to be followed unless there is strong reason to the contrary. In the area of tort, only when the question of damages has arisen have judges in Nigeria shown conspicuous signs of independence. For practical purposes, therefore, one may treat the Nigerian law of tort as being identical with that of England except where the latter has been modified by statute. The tort of negligence has, of course, been little affected by legislation in England. The most important legislative change, relating to apportionment of damages in contributory negligence cases, has been adopted in all parts of Nigeria. In the Northern States, however, the doctrine of common employment is still in force, and only Lagos has legislation based on the Occupiers’ Liability Act, 1957.

Today, I shared this with a client in Kano who plans to open his company, as football fields are becoming active again, despite the official lockdown Yes, many people do not care. Check the latest data, Kano indices are rising. Do not get your business into that trap, as one trial lawyer can mess you up!

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