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Californian woman sues a company for infecting her husband and for spreading COVID-19 in her home, claims damages

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In an unusual instance, a 65-year-old Californian woman filed a lawsuit against her husband’s employer for causing a spread of COVID-19 infection in their house

For the first time in California, a company has been sued for spreading the coronavirus infection. A Californian woman named Corby Kuciemba has filed a lawsuit against her husband’s employer, Victory Woodworks Inc (a construction company).

The lady has sued the employer for the failure of practicing basic precautions in the workplace to restrict the spread of COVID-19. She claims that as a consequence of such failure, her husband Robert Kuciemba got infected with the virus and carried it home thus infecting her. Corby Kuciemba holds Victory Woodworks Inc. responsible for initiating the chain of spreading by not taking adequate precautions.

According to Bloomberg, both Robert and Corby started experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 infection in a matter of a few days after he completed the project at the construction site. They tested positive for the virus on July 16. The lawsuit also mentions that during his course of work on-site, Robert was exposed to an infected person. The company has moved its employees to another site in San Francisco.

The Kuciembas were hospitalized following the symptoms of infection. Also, Ms Kuciemba was highly vulnerable to infection given her age of 65 years. She had become critical due to infection and underwent treatment in hospital for nearly a month from the date of her positive test.

Allegedly, the company did not follow any preventive measures to ensure the safety of employees. The employees were not provided with the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The social distancing norms were not religiously executed either.

The lawsuit states that Ms Kuciemba is entitled to a recovery of ‘punitive damages’ caused by the company’s failure of prevention, citing its actions as “malicious, oppressive, and fraudulent”.

According to the reports, the lawyer for Victory Woodworks Inc Mr Bill Bogden told in a statement to Bloomberg: “This is the first time someone is making the claim that if you have Covid and you live with someone who has a job, you can sue the employer for potentially having given you Covid.”

Mark Venardi, the lawyer for the Kuciembas compared the case to that of asbestos fibers, stating that “There is no material difference between the spouse bringing home a virus instead of a fiber.”

Martin Zurada, also the lawyer for Kuciembas said that regardless of the husband’s infection, Corby is still entitled to an ‘independent ‘ claim because she thrived on the ventilator for a long time.

If the case is discarded by the US District Judge Maxime Chesney, the lawyers of plaintiffs will have to prove in the court of law that Robert Kuciemba got infected only at the workplace. Else, the judgment shall act as a guiding light to similar cases in the future.

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