“Take Home” Lawsuits Over COVID a Threat to Businesses
Companies with coronavirus outbreaks are encountering an emerging legal threat from claims that employees brought the virus home and infected relatives. The cases borrow elements from “take home” asbestos litigation and avoid caps on liability for workplace injuries, exposing companies to expensive pain and suffering damages even though the plaintiff never set foot on their property. One risk analysis firm said that could cost employers billions of dollars.
Reuters reports that between seven percent and nine percent of the roughly 200,000 U.S. COVID-19 deaths so far are believed to stem from take-home infections and the lawsuits could cost businesses up to $21 billion if the number of Americans fatalities reaches 300,000, according to Praedicat, a firm that evaluates risks for insurers.