“Take home” lawsuits involving family members of people who contracted the COVID-19 virus at work and then “took it home” are starting to explode across the country. These lawsuits allege that the worker contracted the virus at work, brought it home, and caused the subsequent illnesses suffered in the family. Though the outcome remains to be seen, there are precedents established for these types of cases.
Outbreaks Explode Across the Country
Nearly 13 million Americans have contracted COVID-19 since the beginning of the year. Of these, more than 250,000 have died. While the CDC and other health agencies have implored people to take precautions, most people still need to work and earn an income.
Over the past year, numerous outbreaks have been tied to places of employment. This includes everything from packing plants and movie theaters to restaurants and airport lounges. Of course, when the employees in these places get sick, there is a strong potential for the virus to unknowingly be carried home with them. As many people are asymptomatic, the virus may go undetected until someone with an underlying health condition or different immune response shows symptoms and receives a positive test.
Deaths Rising from Take Home Acquisitions
Around 7% to 9% of deaths in the United States caused by COVID-19 are due to take-home infections. There are precedents for these types of take-home lawsuits. Juries have already awarded significant settlements in mesothelioma and other cases involving individuals who contracted life-threatening diseases as a result of a spouse’s employment.
Potential Employer Liability
During an unprecedented international pandemic caused by the disease, it is difficult to confirm where an individual contracted COVID-19. However, an injury attorney in Las Vegas can pursue claims against an employer whose negligent actions were likely to have facilitated the transmission. These negligent actions could include failing to enforce social distancing, failing to enforce mask-wearing requirements, and failure to properly sterilize and sanitize work surfaces and equipment. However, at this time, the government regulators have given broad protection to businesses. It remains to be seen whether the courts will follow. As the nation moves into winter and the number of infections and lost loved ones rises at exponential rates across the country, the outcome of “take-home” lawsuits is something that attorneys throughout the country will watch very closely.