If you’re an individual or company that owns, manages, or controls a conference or event, you owe everyone involved, a legal duty of due care not to subject attendees, speakers, and those working at the event, to an unreasonable risk of harm. What this means is that you have an obligation to provide a safe conference environment and, to warn people of known or reasonably discoverable dangerous conditions.
I did a quick search in CaseText (AI based legal research service) and instantly found thousands of cases where conferences and events have been held liable for subjecting people to an unreasonable risks of harm. Full transparency, I’m a brand ambassador for CaseText because it’s awesome!
Just like the cases I found where conferences were held liable for exposing their attendees to dangerous conditions, I think the same argument applies to those conferences that create an environment that exposes people to unhealthy situations, including harm or death from the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
And I’m not alone. For both legal, ethical and health safety reasons, thousands of small and large conferences around the world have been delayed or canceled because of the Coronavirus.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rescheduling of his Sports and Fitness Festival is a good example of what’s happening right now. Watch the video.
It’s a sad day for me and everyone at the @ArnoldSports team. But we will always put our fans’ health first. After discussions with @GovMikeDeWine, @MayorGinther, and the CDC, we will be postponing the expo because we can’t risk bringing 250,000 people together with #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/Fuzcmapxiy
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 3, 2020