State Supreme Court: Employers Not Liable for ‘Take-Home’ COVID Cases

California employers cannot be held liable for the spread of COVID-19 cases by employees who contracted the disease on the job and spread it in their household, the California Supreme Court held on July 6.

In its unanimous decision, the court said that saddling employers with the duty of care beyond the workplace would impose a significant burden on California businesses, the court system and “the community at large.”

The decision should put employers at ease, since during oral arguments the justices raised concerns about an “avalanche” of lawsuits should employers be held liable for these so-called “take-home” COVID cases.


The case

The case of Corby Kuciemba, et al. vs. Victory Woodworks, Inc., involved an employee who contracted COVID-19 in the workplace and spread it to his wife, who was later hospitalized and at one point put on a ventilator to keep her alive.

The couple sued Victory Woodworks for negligence, premises liability and public nuisance. The federal court hearing the case sided with the employer, and the plaintiffs appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Ninth Circuit, however, asked the California Supreme Court last year to determine if employers do have such a duty under state law.

In its ruling, the high court noted that courts in other states — namely Maryland, Wisconsin and Illinois — have sided with employers in similar cases.


The takeaway

While we are no longer in a pandemic, if the court had ruled that employers have a duty to protect non-employees from transmission, legal watchers say that it would have spurred people sickened in the early days of the pandemic to file suit.

Robert Dunn, a lawyer for the US Chamber of Commerce, told the court during oral arguments that if this case were allowed to proceed, it could apply more broadly to other contagious diseases, including the flu, from which thousands of Americans die every year.

The unanimous decision applies to similar cases that are currently pending and any prospective lawsuits that can still be filed under the two-year statute of limitations for negligence cases.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

BGES Group, located in Larchmont, N.Y. are New York Construction Insurance Specialists that represent 50+ companies and all the BEST general & umbrella liability programs!  We offer every coverage you need including property, builders risk, inland marine, general liability, umbrella liability, auto, bid & performance bonds, workers’ compensation, N.Y.S. disability and group health.  We are extremely responsive, responsible, trustworthy, fast, minimize your insurance headaches, we don’t charge ridiculous policy or service fees and when you call, text or email, whatever time of day, even weekends, we are ARE THERE to help YOU!

BGES Group are Workers’ Compensation Insurance Specialists for Tri-State Business Owners: Unhappy with your rates, company, being cancelled, losses causing difficulty getting coverage, in the middle of an audit dispute, payrolls misclassified, whatever your issue, we can help!  We have special programs for: Auto Service, Contractors (especially New York), Limousine Services, Logistic Companies, Manufacturers, Recyclers, Truckers, we can help ANY tri-state business owner.  We are considered “Preferred Agents” for this one program that if we can get you in, their pricing is excellent, offers long-term coverage stability and can cover multi-state operations. Program takes the hassle out of doing annual audits too.

In addition, we offer all personal insurance coverages including home, auto, boat, jewelry, fine arts, life, disability, health and long-term care.  When was the last time you got a complete check up for all your coverage needs?   We are extremely caring and would love the chance to help you with your personal insurance needs.

BGES Group is an insurance agency whose owner is very responsible, responsive, offers boutique, very personal service and is ALWAYS there when you need him most!

We know reading an article we post or getting an email is not the best way to consider working with someone.  If you are interested, go read our “Google Reviews” and see what people have to say about us!  That can give you the comfort level needed to contact us.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538



© – Copyright – 2023 – BGES Group

End of covid-19 epidemic concept erased with eraser

Employers Not Liable for COVID Cases

Posted in Uncategorized.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *