The Supreme Court of California has rejected a request to reconsider a decision of an appellate court holding that the doctrine of derived injury does not preclude a lawsuit alleging that a company negligently subjected a covid-19 worker to the death of a family member.
See’s Candies applied to the state Supreme Court on January 28 to review the decision on Dec. 21 from the 2nd District Court in See’s Candies Inc. v Los Angeles Superior Court et al. The state Supreme Court rejected the request for review without comment on April 13.
The Court of Appeal stated that the theory that the exclusive right to compensation for employees links security claims to a compensable injury does not apply to the lawsuit filed by Matilde Ek. Ek said she was exposed to covid-19 when she worked for See’s Candies in part because the company is alleged to have failed to implement appropriate safeguards. She claims she took the disease home and transmitted it to family members including her husband, Arturo Ek, who died.
The Court of Appeal said that it was clear that the doctrine of derivative harm does not apply to the claim in this case.
“Complaint does not claim damages for losses arising from a disabling or fatal injury to Mrs Ek, such as loss of her support or company, or emotional trauma caused by observing Mr Ek’s suffering,” the decision states. “They are also not liable for” damages incurred during the processing of (an employee’s) occupational injury “or” during the process of claiming the employee’s compensation. ” Ex alleged infection of the virus in the workplace, but … not derived from that infection. “
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