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Businesses Fear Ending Virus Shutdowns Too Soon Poses Legal Risks

Whenever U.S. stores, restaurants and theaters reopen from coronavirus shutdowns, they may face an unexpected problem: lawsuits from sick patrons and workers.

Business owners hit hard by Covid-19 are eager to get back to work as the outbreak shows signs of slowing and the Trump administration pushes for a quick restart of the nation’s economy. But with no vaccine for the easily transmitted virus, companies opening too soon could be blamed if more people get sick. Walmart Inc. and Carnival Corp. are among those already defending lawsuits by employees or customers.

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