Employer facing worker’s lawsuit over husband’s COVID death – California Court

An image of a mine and a block at the George Glazer Gallery antique store in this illustration was taken in Manhattan, New York City
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December 21, 2021

By Brendan Pierson

(Reuters) – A California candy maker faces a lawsuit by an employee who says she caught COVID-19 at work and gave it to her husband, resulting in his death, a The state appeals court was held on Tuesday, upholding what appeared to be first. the ruling allows a worker to sue an employer over the COVID death of a family member.

The California Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, rejected the argument by South San Francisco-based See’s Candies that the employee, Matilde Ek, should file a workers’ compensation claim and not a damage claim harmed in court because her husband’s death was “arising” of her own. workplace injury.

An attorney for the company owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc was not immediately available for comment.

Attorneys for Ek could not be immediately reached for comment. Nor could the American Chamber of Commerce, which weighed in with a legal brief, support See’s.

Ek and her three daughters sued See’s last year, saying she contracted COVID-19 because the company failed to ensure workplace safety. Her husband, Arturo Ek, later contracted the disease from her while she was recuperating at home, and eventually died of the disease, she said.

See’s replied that Arturo Ek’s death was a “derivation” of an alleged wound at Ek’s workplace. That meant it was workers’ compensation and Ek could not take it to court, the company said.

However, a trial court allowed the case to continue. See’s argued on appeal that the decision was “exceptional” and that other courts that have reviewed similar cases related to COVID-19 have overruled that decision.

However, the Court of Appeal said Arturo Ek’s death was not caused by his wife’s illness, but by the COVID-19 virus directly, which his wife acted as a “conduit”. It cites a decision by a federal appeals court allowing a similar case of hepatitis infection.

(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis) Employer facing worker’s lawsuit over husband’s COVID death – California Court

Bobby Allyn

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