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March 23, 2020

COVID-19 | Life Sciences & Healthcare - Personal Accountability

Life Sciences updated on Mar 23 at 02:00 pm

PERSONAL LIABILITIES OF COMPANY’S MANAGERS FOR THE NON-COMPLIANCE WITH SANITARY MEASURES

Law No. 13.979/2020 determines that: “every person will collaborate with health authorities in the immediate communication of: i) possible contacts with coronavirus infectious agents; ii) circulation in areas considered to be regions of contamination by the coronavirus” (section 5). Individuals and companies must comply with the measures determined by the authorities, under penalty of personal liability.

Such liability is also criminal. Interministerial Ordinance No. 5 of March 17, 2020, issued by the Ministries of Justice and Health, regulates compulsory hospitalization and imprisonment for failure to comply with a restrictive measure adopted to confront coronavirus.

Criminal law determines penalties both from minor crimes, such as the violation of a preventive health measure (a more specific kind of disobedience), to very serious crimes, such as the crime of causing an epidemic.

Judging by the experience resulting from the environmental disasters of recent years, the Public Prosecutor's Office will probably act with rigor in the face of managers who fail to comply with the measures imposed by health authorities.
 
In the case of activities and services considered essential, personal liability demonstrates the importance of studying the need for preventive judicialization, with the objective of obtaining a judicial decision that supports the manager in the continuity of his business, mitigating criminal risks.

The essential services and activities are defined by the Decree No. 10.282/2020.

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