U.S. Employers Face Threat of Exposure to New COVID “Take Home” Lawsuits


By: Sean Riley

Take-home or household exposure lawsuits have been a facet of asbestos litigation for years, allowing mesothelioma victims who came into contact with asbestos that was brought into their homes on the clothing of their spouses, parents, or other household members.

While employers are typically immune from suit pursuant to their states’ respective workers compensation acts, immunity does not extend to claims made by employees’ family members.

As U.S. businesses continue to reopen, many employers now face the threat of take-home COVID claims where workers bring coronavirus home and infect relatives. Recently, the daughter of Esperanza Ugalde of Illinois filed what appears to be the first wrongful death “take home” lawsuit, alleging her mother died of COVID-19 that her father contracted while working at a meat processing plant.

As approximately 7-9% of the 200,000+ COVID related deaths are believed to be caused by take-home exposure, it is anticipated that many similar suits will follow.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Sean Riley at [email protected].

Additional Information:

FMG has formed a Coronavirus Task Force to provide up-to-the-minute information, strategic advice, and practical solutions for our clients.  Our group is an interdisciplinary team of attorneys who can address the multitude of legal issues arising out of the coronavirus pandemic, including issues related to Healthcare, Product Liability, Tort Liability, Data Privacy, and Cyber and Local Governments.  For more information about the Task Force, click here.

You can also contact your FMG relationship partner or email the team with any questions at [email protected].

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