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The employer must be brought before the employee's lawsuit due to the spouse's COVID death



(Reuters) – A California candy maker must file a lawsuit against an employee who says she caught covid-19 at work and gave it to her husband, resulting in his death, a state appellate court said on Tuesday. 19659002] This seems to be the first judgment that allows a worker to sue an employer over the death of a family member in connection with covid.

The California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, rejected South San Francisco-based See & # 39 ;s Candies 'argument that the employee, Matilde Ek, must apply for workers' compensation instead of claiming damages in court because her husband's death was "derived. "of her own workplace injury.

A lawyer for the Berkshire Hathaway Inc.-owned company had no immediate comment.

A lawyer for Ms. Oak could not be immediately reached for comment. Nor did the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which had weighed in with a legal mandate that supported See & # 39; s.

Ms. Ek and her three daughters sued Sees last year, saying she suffered from covid-1

9 because the company failed to guarantee workplace safety. Her husband, Arturo Ek, then got the disease from her while she was recovering at home, he and eventually died of it, she said.

See replied that Mr. Ek's death was "derived" from Ek's alleged work injury. This meant that it was covered by work injury compensation, and Ek could not sue for it in court, the company said.

A court of law still allowed the case to proceed. See & # 39 ;s argued in the appeal that the decision was an "outsider" and that other courts that had considered similar covid 19-related cases had rejected them.

However, the Court of Appeal said that Mr. Ek's death was not due to his wife. became ill but was instead caused directly by the covid-19 virus, for which his wife acted as a "channel". It cited a decision of a federal appellate court allowing a similar case regarding a hepatitis infection.


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