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Employer groups claim that exclusive measure excludes claim for negligence



A coalition of employers asks a California appellate court to find that the exclusive employee compensation measure precludes a lawsuit alleging that an employer was negligent in exposing a worker to the new coronavirus that caused her husband's death.

A brief filed on August 31 in the Second District Court of See & # 39; s Candies Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles claims that the district court fundamentally misunderstood the derived injury rule – the theory that exclusivity for work competence applies to all damages to the safety or derivatives of a compensable injury — in such a way that "a large proportion of COVID-related claims arising from workplace behavior would be placed outside the scope of the employee compensation system."

The Amicus curiae brief was filed by groups including the U.S. and California Chambers of Commerce, the California Restaurant Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Association of Manufacturers and the California Workers & # 39; Compensation Institute argue that the Los Angeles District Court should maintain a demurrer and reject the mood that Matilde Ek raised on behalf of her deceased husband, Arturo Ek.

Briefly claims that the complaint seeks to circumvent the so-called "major finding" in which employees waive the right to sue employers for workplace injuries and illnesses in exchange for compensation for employees that applies without regard to errors.

"Plaintiffs proposed a new exemption from workers' compensation exclusivity would subject all employers, large and small, to a range of third-party claims and premises claims whose only connection to the place of employment is that they came into contact with an infected worker", states that in the text. And it does not have to stop there: The plaintiffs' proposed exemption would cover not only the infected employee's family and friends affected by COVID-1

9, but also the family and friends of each of the individuals who become infected with the virus, and everyone else who can claim any derived damage. Such an endless chain of derivative damages and uncontrolled liability is the opposite of (Workers & # 39; s Compensation Act).

Matilde Ek claims in her complaint that See failed to carry out appropriate social distancing in March 2020 and that she was exposed to the new coronavirus at work and eventually contracted the disease it causes, COVID-19. She recovered at home with her husband and daughter, who both became ill with COVID-19. In April 2020, her husband died of the disease.

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