Flying with COVID-19: Navigating Potential Passenger Claims Against Airlines

Holland & Knight LLP

Holland & Knight LLP


  • In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, airlines are faced with ever-changing governmental policies, regulations, guidelines, and best practices to address passenger and crew safety.
  • Whether an airline may be responsible for passenger negligence claims will depend in large part on whether the airline should have known or suspected that a passenger or crew member presented a health risk and the reasonableness of the airline's response once it became aware of the risk. Causation will be difficult to prove because of the contagious nature of COVID-19.
  • Under the Montreal Convention, proving an Article 17 "accident" will be an uphill battle because: (i) a passenger could have contracted the illness at any point before or after boarding; (ii) given the widespread nature of this pandemic, contracting the virus may not be "unusual or unexpected" so as to constitute an "accident" under Article 17; and (iii) fear of contracting the virus will not be recoverable.

On March 16, 2020, a U.S. carrier was held before takeoff at JFK International Airport in New York after a passenger alerted flight attendants that they were exposed to someone who had tested positive for coronavirus. The individual received the information immediately before takeoff. Although the passenger did not show any symptoms, everyone deplaned and the aircraft was disinfected. The incident was reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). After a 3.5-hour delay, the flight departed for Seattle.

Situations like this will continue to occur and raise numerous liability questions for carriers, including: What if the airline missed symptoms shown by a passenger? What if someone becomes infected after landing and blames the airline for ineffective cleaning? What if a crew member decides to isolate a compromised passenger rather than remove them from the aircraft?

International Regulations

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) are leaders in the global efforts aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 through air transportation. WHO is the lead United Nations (U.N.) agency for the management of the outbreak and provides all necessary technical and operational support to respond to it.1 In 2005, WHO developed a set of international health regulations (IHRs) that entered into force on June 15, 2007.2 This legal framework establishes rules for international coordination in the detection, investigation and response to contagious diseases and sets forth special procedures addressing a public health emergency, like COVID-19.3 Airlines are expected to comply with the IHRs, along with guidance issued by WHO.

ICAO's primary role in managing the outbreak is to support WHO by providing aviation-related information, participating in meetings, and serving as facilitator of information among member states and key organizations, including the CDC, the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), and Airports Council International (ACI).4 To that end, ICAO provides up-to-date information to its member states, and urges them to monitor the WHO website and adhere to the recommendations and guidance provided by WHO. ICAO also promulgates Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs)5 in the form of Annexes to the Chicago Convention,6 which obligates its member states to take measures to prevent the spread of communicable diseases by air transport.7 For example, the Annexes require members to adhere to the IHRs, establish a national aviation plan to deal with an outbreak of a communicable disease, and follow various guidelines on tracing passengers following discovery of an outbreak, in-flight response to an infected passenger, and aircraft cleaning.8

U.S. Regulations

Airlines operating to the United States are expected to comply with Parts 70 and 71 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which concern the control of communicable disease and are intended to prevent the introduction, transmission or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the U.S. and within the U.S. These regulations were updated in 2017 and contain monetary sanctions for noncompliance.9

Among other things, these regulations require airlines to report to the CDC any illnesses that occur on domestic flights between U.S. states and territories, and on international flights arriving in the United States.10 For international flights, such reports must be made before arrival to the CDC Quarantine Station.11

The CDC issued guidance to airlines on identifying potentially infected and reportable passengers, including those who exhibit: 1) a fever accompanied with one or more other health concern (e.g., skin rash, difficulty breathing, persistent cough, decreased consciousness or confusion, unexplained bruising, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, or appear otherwise unwell); 2) a persistent fever (more than 48 hours); or 3) symptoms or other indications of communicable disease.12

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued specific guidance for U.S.-based flight and cabin crews. The guidance was initially for flights destined for China but recently has been extended worldwide given the upgrade of COVID-19 to a pandemic. The FAA recommended that crew members not use public transit, only to travel with other crew members in company provided transportation, and minimize contact with ground staff. Finally, the FAA instructed crew members to self-monitor health, including taking their temperatures twice a day while on layovers and not taking any flights if any COVID-19 symptoms are present.

Potential Passenger Claims

As we have witnessed over the past few decades, there are passengers who disregard their illness and thus place the traveling public at risk for contracting communicable diseases. Airlines often are faced with the difficult task of balancing the safety of their crew and passengers against the interests and rights of a passenger traveling with a communicable disease.

Airline's Duty of Care: Negligence

As a common carrier, an airline generally owes its passengers a heightened duty of care.13 A passenger who claims that he or she has been injured by contracting a contagious disease during a flight, including emotional distress from alleged exposure, generally would have to establish a breach of the duty and that such breach proximately caused the injury. By way of example, passengers may try to assert a negligence claim based on several scenarios, such as where an airline 1) inadvertently permits a sick passenger to board; 2) fails to quarantine or isolate a passenger with symptoms, or otherwise respond appropriately; 3) has a crew member on board who becomes ill during the flight; 4) fails to properly ventilate and equip the aircraft to prevent the spread of the disease; 5) fails to notify the appropriate medical authorities of a symptomatic passenger and await assistance at the flight's destination; 6) fails to follow applicable guidance and regulations; and 7) fails to notify all passengers on the flight after becoming aware of a passenger's communicable illness.14

Whether the airline would ultimately be held responsible or penalized by authorities under any of these scenarios will likely turn on whether the airline should have known or suspected that a passenger or crew member presented a health risk (e.g., during the pre-boarding process, before takeoff or at crew check-in) and the reasonableness of the airline's response once it became aware of the passenger's illness (e.g., adequate isolation, cleaning of the aircraft, and notification to authorities and other passengers). Many defenses are available to the airlines. Significantly, with regard to a highly contagious disease like COVID-19, causation will be difficult for plaintiffs to prove because individuals may be asymptomatic for two to 14 days and could just as easily been exposed to the virus at locations other than the aircraft, such as at the airport, a restaurant, their hotel or sometime after deplaning.

Claims relating to an airline's duty to properly warn about contracting COVID-19 during a flight also would likely be preempted as federal regulations control the airlines' obligations with regard to pre-flight warnings and related safety standards.15 Obviously, however, when the airline has knowledge of a contagious or ill passenger, it should take immediate measures to minimize the health risk to others.

International Carriage: Montreal Convention

Most international flights today are governed by the Montreal Convention. Under Article 17 of the Convention,16 the airline is presumptively liable for physical injury or death of a passenger caused by an "accident" on the aircraft or during the course of embarking or disembarking. Article 17 provides the exclusive cause of action to a passenger for bodily injury or death and preempts any state law claims against the airline.17

While an Article 17 accident arises when there is an "unexpected or unusual event or happening that is external to the passenger,"18 an accident generally is not found when an injury results from a passenger's preexisting condition or in reaction to the normal operation of a flight.19 An airline should not be liable to a passenger boarding the aircraft with a preexisting illness unless there was some unexpected or unusual event by the airline that caused them physical injury.20 Where an otherwise healthy passenger contracts a contagious disease during a flight, however, a court could find that an Article 17 accident has occurred. The burden remains on the passenger to prove that he or she contracted the illness while on the flight. Much like food poisoning cases, causation may be difficult to prove because of the contagious nature of COVID-19 and the fact a passenger could have contracted the illness at any point before boarding. Given the travel restrictions, mandatory quarantine rules in some places, and otherwise widespread nature of this pandemic, there may also be a defense that contracting the virus is not "unusual or unexpected" so as to constitute an "accident" under Article 17.21

If a passenger can demonstrate an "accident" occurred, an airline is presumptively liable for passenger's provable damages up to a maximum of 128,821 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) (approximately US$178,000).22 An airline is not responsible for any damages beyond this amount if it proves that it was not negligent or that the incident was caused solely by the negligence of others, such as the passenger who knowingly traveled on the flight without notifying the airline or health authorities. In addition, the airline may disclaim liability to the contagious passenger by arguing that the injury was caused or contributed to by the negligence or other wrongful act of that passenger.

In situations where a passenger claims solely emotional distress damages (such as fear of contracting the disease) but has sustained no physical injury, the passenger may not be entitled to any recovery under the Convention.23

Denied Boarding

An airline's contract of carriage contains terms permitting an airline to deny boarding to passengers, including on health grounds if a passenger has a communicable disease or infection and may pose a threat to the health or safety of others.

However, under federal law, an airline may not discriminate against a passenger with a communicable disease or infection in the provision of air transportation.24 A carrier may only deny boarding, require a medical certificate, or impose conditions on a passenger (such as wearing a mask) in cases where a passenger with a communicable disease poses a "direct threat" to the safety and health of others.25 In making this determination, the airline makes an "individualized assessment," by relying on current medical knowledge, the likelihood of potential harm to others, and whether reasonable procedures or modifications could mitigate the risk.26

The airline, however, must transport a passenger with a communicable disease or infection if he or she presents a medical certificate describing conditions or precautions that would prevent transmission and the airline can feasibly carry out these measures.27 It seems unlikely that such a certificate would be given to a passenger with a highly contagious disease like COVID-19.

If a passenger views their denied boarding on health grounds as discriminatory, there is no private right of action to sue an airline. Instead, any complaint must be made with the Secretary of Transportation.28 If such a passenger does bring a complaint, the airline may argue that their claims are preempted by federal law, including the Federal Aviation Act and the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (ADA).29 With respect to the Federal Aviation Act, Congress intended that federal law exclusively control the field of aviation safety and that claims relating to safety be preempted, including those specific to an airline's authority to deny boarding.30 And under the ADA, state law claims based on "boarding procedures" and "safety procedures" fall within the scope of "services" as defined by the ADA and are therefore preempted.31

Delays and Canceled Flights

For passenger delays governed by the Montreal Convention, the airlines generally have two defenses: 1) the passenger is comparatively at fault for the delay, and 2) the airline "took all reasonable measures that could reasonably be required to avoid the damage." The latter means that the carrier has taken measures reasonably available to defendant and reasonably calculated to prevent the loss. The airline is not required to take every possible precaution. Much will depend on the evidence the airline submits to support its defense. More likely than not, more claims will be based on canceled flights and nonperformance, which generally fall outside the treaty's scope (unless the airline places the passenger on the next available flight, and then delay may exist). Where nonperformance is found, such claims would be governed by the applicable contract of carriage.

As to damages for delays, U.S. courts generally limit passengers to recover the economic losses they sustained as a result of the delay, including out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the delay (e.g., hotel, taxis, phone calls and food). Passengers should be required to present receipts or other evidence to support their claims. U.S. courts consistently hold, however, that damages for emotional distress/mental anguish are not recoverable and most decide that the passenger is not entitled to inconvenience or consequential damages.

Most airlines' contracts of carriage contain a force majeure clause excusing cancellation and making the carrier liable only for a refund of the unused ticket or portion thereof. Force majeure events usually include government regulations or orders. Prohibitions on travel would qualify. Due to COVID-19, most airlines have changed or waived cancellation fees when passengers cancel their flights for travel in March and April of 2020.

On March 18, 2020, the European Commission issued guidelines on the impact of COVID-19 on EU261/2004 claims.32 The guidelines clarify that cancellation and denied boarding based on COVID-19 will be considered an "extraordinary circumstances." The commission noted that cancellations due to concern for crew health and substantially decreased capacity, as well as flight restrictions and quarantine rules, would fall under this exception. However, airlines remain liable for passenger care and assistance, which includes meals and accommodation.

In the U.S., passengers cannot bring a direct claim under EU261/2004 against the airline because judicial enforcement of such claims is limited exclusively to the courts in the European Union.33 Additionally, a breach of contract claim based on EU 261/2004 may only be pursued in the U.S. courts where the airline expressly incorporates the regulation in its contract of carriage.34

Privacy Concerns

Many airlines include privacy notices as part of their conditions of carriage, which protect certain passenger information from disclosure. Certain exceptions exist for reporting to government authorities, including any mandatory reporting obligation imposed by federal regulations. For example, federal law requires an airline to collect certain information from passengers, including their name and telephone number (see 14 C.F.R. § 243.7(a)) and to "ke[ep] confidential [this information] and release[] only to the U.S. Department of State, the National Transportation Safety Board (upon NTSB's request), and the Department of Transportation pursuant to oversight of this part".35 An airline is prohibited from using passenger information for any other reason other than reporting to federal agencies.36

Best Practices

While airlines are already required to provide training on potential outbreak situations, additional precautions and recommended practices to consider include:

  • be especially aware of individuals, both at the gate and on the aircraft, who appear to be symptomatic for COVID-19, and conduct an appropriate medical inquiry
  • make sure the air ventilation in the cabin is compliant with aviation standards and functioning properly
  • encourage the flight crew to make regular safety announcements, reminding passengers who experience flu-like symptoms to seek immediate medical attention
  • facilitate frequent pilot communication with crew members, air traffic control, and any other necessary personnel or authorities in the event of an outbreak
  • upon discovery of an infected passenger, provide notice to appropriate authorities, arrange for disinfecting procedures of the aircraft, and assistance to that passenger and others who may have been exposed
  • ensure that a plan is in place to contact passengers who may have been exposed to COVID-19 during a flight


With the current coronavirus outbreak, airlines' emergency preparedness is being tested every day. Airlines must continue to stay abreast of and comply with the latest international and federal regulations and airport protocols. When an airline becomes aware of an infected passenger or crew member on a flight, airlines must report the situation, notify other passengers and crew members, and take measures to mitigate the potential spread of the disease. Airlines also should make every effort to document the measures they have taken to prevent contagion and be prepared to demonstrate that they acted reasonably under the circumstances.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the situation surrounding COVID-19 is evolving and that the subject matter discussed in these publications may change on a daily basis. 


1 See ICAO Electronic Bulletin, Ongoing Developments Regarding the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Outbreak (30 January 2020).

2 See "Strengthening health security by implementing the International Health Regulations," IATA, IACO and the CDC all collaborated with WHO in developing the regulations and guidelines.

3 On January 30, 2020, the Director General of WHO declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). On March 11, 2020, WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic, without recommending any travel or trade restrictions.

4 These organizations are members of the Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) program under ICAO. Key information compiled by WHO, ICAO, the CDC, IATA and API are published on the CAPSCA website.

5 SARPs are technical specifications adopted by ICAO pursuant to Article 37 of the Chicago Convention, which requires States to collaborate to achieve "the highest practicable degree of uniformity in regulations, standards, procedures and organization in relation to aircraft, personnel, airways and auxiliary services in all matters in which such uniformity will facilitate and improve air navigation."

6 For example, Annex 6 addresses universal precaution kits, Annex 9 relates to compliance with the IHRs, Annex 11 covers contingency plans in the event of disruption, Annex 14 covers airport emergency plans, and Annex 15 relates to requirements for flight crew advisories.

7 Convention on International Civil Aviation, 61 Stat. 1180. 15 U.N.T.S. 295 (Dec. 7, 1944), Art. 14.

8 See, e.g., Standard 8.12 (obliges States to comply with the pertinent provisions of the IHRs); Standard 8.15 (requiring pilot-in-command to report a case of suspected communicable disease on board an aircraft and follow the operator's protocols, in addition to health-related legal requirements of the countries of departure and/or destination); Recommended Practice 8.15 (recommending that a Public Health Passenger Locator Card should be used to trace a potentially exposed traveler).

9 See 82 F.R. 6890 (effective Feb. 21, 2017); 42 C.F.R. § 70.18 (penalties).

10 See 42 C.F.R. §§ 70.11 and 71.21. Specifically, 42 C.F.R. § 70.11(a) requires that the pilot in command report "as soon as practicable to CDC the occurrence onboard of any deaths or the presence of ill persons among passengers or crew and take such measures as CDC may direct to prevent the potential spread of the communicable disease …".

11 See 42 C.F.R. § 71.21.

12 See Preventing Spread of Disease: Cabin Crew.

13 The duty of care owed a passenger differs state-by-state and may be governed by federal law, i.e., 14 C.F.R. § 91.13(a), which provides that: "No person may operate an aircraft in a careless of reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another."

14 See Ruwantissa Abeyratne, International Responsibility in Preventing the Spread of Communicable Diseases through Air Carriage– The Sars Crisis, 30 Transp. L.J. 53, 61 (2002) (illustrating various liability situations).

15 Montalvo v. Spirit Airlines, Inc., 508 F.3d 464, 470-74 (9th Cir. 2007) (holding FAA and federal aviation regulations establish safety standards for interstate and international air transportation and impliedly preempted state law claims for failure to warn passengers about the risk of developing DVT).

16 In those cases where the Warsaw Convention is the applicable treaty, the analysis of an Article 17 accident is generally the same; however, the airlines' defenses may vary depending on whether the Warsaw Convention, as unamended or supplemented, applies to the particular transportation.

17 See El Al Israel Airlines, Ltd. v. Tseng, 525 U.S. 155 (1999); Ehrlich v. American Airlines, 360 F.3d 366 (2d Cir. 2004).

18 Air France v. Saks, 470 U.S. 392, 405 (1985).

19 Id. at 406 ("[w]hen the injury indisputably results from the passenger's own internal reaction to the usual, normal, and expected operation of the aircraft, it has not been caused by an accident").

20 An accident may arise where the airline crew fails "to take certain necessary vital steps" in response to a situation such that this inaction "could quite naturally and, in routine usage of the language, be an event or happening." Olympic Airways v. Husain, 540 U.S. 644, 656 n.10 (2004).

21 See, e.g., Blansett v. Continental Airlines, Inc., 379 F.3d 177 (5th Cir. 2004) (failure to warn passengers about risk that pressurized condition of aircraft's cabin might increase likelihood of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) was not "unusual or unexpected event," and did not qualify as "accident" under Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention).

22 The monetary limits under the Montreal Convention were increased on December 28, 2019

23 See Eastern Airlines, Inc. v. Floyd, 499 U.S. 530 (1991); Ehrlich v. American Airlines, 360 F.3d 366 (2d Cir. 2004); In re Air Crash at Little Rock, Arkansas on June 1, 1999 (Lloyd), 291 F.3d 508 (8th Cir. 2002).

24 49 U.S.C. § 41705 (2003).

25 14 C.F.R. § 382.51 (a), (b). A "direct threat" is defined as "a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices, or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services." 14 C.F.R. § 382.51(b)(2).

26 14 C.F.R. § 382.51(b)(3).

27 14 C.F.R. § 382.51(b)(4).

28 See, e.g., Boswell v. Skywest Airlines, Inc., 361 F.3d 1263 (10th Cir. 2004); Love v. Delta Airlines, 310 F.3d 1347 (11th Cir. 2002).

29 See 49 U.S.C. § 41713(b)(1) ("[A] State . . . may not enact or enforce a law . . . related to a price, route, or service of an air carrier . . . ."); see also Northwest, Inc. v. Ginsberg, 572 U.S. 273, 134 S. Ct. 1422 (2014); see also Air Transp. Ass'n of Am. Inc. ("ATA") v. Cuomo, 520 F.3d 218, 220 (2d Cir. 2008).

30 Section 44902 authorizes an air carrier to refuse transportation to a passenger who the "carrier decides is, or might be, inimical to safety." 49 U.S.C. § 44902(b).

31 See, e.g., Lozada v. Delta Airlines, Inc., No. 13-cv-7388, 2014 WL 2738529, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. June 17, 2014) (finding claims related to removal of passenger preempted by the ADA); Weiss v. El Al Israel Airlines, Ltd., 433 F. Supp. 2d 361, 370 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) (holding that tort claims based on an airline's denial of transportation were "clearly preempted" by the ADA); Huggar v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., No. 98‑cv-594, 1999 WL 59841, at *9 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 11, 1999) (same).

32 See Commission Notice, Interpretative Guidelines on EU passenger rights regulations in the context of the developing situation with Covid-19.

33 See Volodarskiy v. Delta Airlines, Inc, 784 F.3d 349, 354 (7th Cir. 2015) (holding that "EU 261 is not judicially enforceable outside the courts of the EU Member States").

34 See, e.g., Polinovsky v. British Airways, No. 11-CV-779, 2012 WL 1506052 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 30, 2012) (finding breach of contract claim preempted because the carrier's Conditions of Carriage did not expressly incorporate EU 261).

35 14 C.F.R. § 243.9(c)

36 See , e.g., 14 C.F.R. § 243.9(d).

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Holland & Knight LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Holland & Knight LLP

Holland & Knight LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide

JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please note that if you subscribe to one of our Services, you can make choices about how we collect, use and share your information through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard (available if you are logged into your JD Supra account).

Collection of Information

Registration Information. When you register with JD Supra for our Website and Services, either as an author or as a subscriber, you will be asked to provide identifying information to create your JD Supra account ("Registration Data"), such as your:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at:

- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.