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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.
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].
**DISCLAIMER: The attorneys at Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP (“FMG”) have been working hard to produce educational content to address issues arising from the concern over COVID-19. The webinars and our written material have produced many questions. Some we have been able to answer, but many we cannot without a specific legal engagement. We can only give legal advice to clients. Please be aware that your attendance at one of our webinars or receipt of our written material does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and FMG. An attorney-client relationship will not exist unless and until an FMG partner expressly and explicitly states IN WRITING that FMG will undertake an attorney-client relationship with you, after ascertaining that the firm does not have any legal conflicts of interest. As a result, you should not transmit any personal or confidential information to FMG unless we have entered into a formal written agreement with you. We will continue to produce education content for the public, but we must point out that none of our webinars, articles, blog posts, or other similar material constitutes legal advice, does not create an attorney client relationship and you cannot rely on it as such. We hope you will continue to take advantage of the conferences and materials that may pertain to your work or interests.**