Note: I am not wanting to make this political. Please do not attempt to address political aspects of this situation or rail one way or the other. My question would be exactly the same if the facts of the situation faulted a Democratic senator. Or indeed anyone. The facts of the current situation raise an interesting question that will no doubt become more and more common in the weeks ahead:
Under what circumstances can someone be sued for negligent or reckless transmission of a global pandemic?
What if, in the current situation, I was Mitt Romney? And we don't know yet whether Mitt has gotten infected by Rand, but let's just assume for this question that he has, so we have a concrete example. Surely someone has, even if not him.
*The specific allegation in this situation is that Rand continued to use the Senate Gym and Pool, and also continued to hang out in close quarters with other senators while he was still waiting for his COVID-19 test result to come back. Mitt Romney was one of the people who came into contact with him at this time and is now self-isolating out of an abundance of caution (an abundance of caution that Rand did not demonstrate -- hence reckless disregard for others life). Rand's test does prove that he was infected with COVID-19 during this period after all.
Could I, as Mitt, now sue Rand Paul for negligent and reckless transmission of COVID-19 to me?
Note that Rand denies allegations of reckless or negligent transmission and I do want to fairly point that out, but in actuality the truth of the allegations can only be decided in a court.
So it does seem to me that Mitt could sue Rand in this instance, and a court would determine what Rand's legal liability is?
What limitations are there to keep lawsuits over negligent transmission from themselves becoming a kind of pandemic?
Bonus question, can employers be sued for creating a work environment that promotes transmission by refusing to offer paid sick leave?