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Employers not liable for ‘take-home COVID’, California Supreme Court rules

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‘Take-home COVID’ case

Robert Kuciemba started working for Victory Woodworks, a furniture/construction company, at a jobsite in San Francisco, after the Health Order was issued. 

In the Kuciemba, et al. v. Victory Woodworks case, Kuciemba and his wife Corby Kuciemba claimed that they strictly followed the City’s COVID-19 orders, took all the necessary safety precautions, and minimized their contact with others, except for Mr. Kuciemba’s frequent interactions with people at Victory’s jobsite.

According to the Kuciembas, Victory knowingly transferred workers from an infected construction site to Mr. Kuciemba’s jobsite without following the safety procedures mandated by the Health Order. Mr. Kuciemba had to work in close proximity with these employees and contracted COVID-19, which he then brought back home.

Mrs. Kuciemba, who is over 65 years old and at high risk from COVID-19 due to her age and health, tested positive for COVID-19 on July 16, 2020.

Employers ‘would be overwhelmed’

Ruling in favor of Cory Kuciemba would have turned every employer in California into a potential defendant, even when the company had taken reasonable steps to prevent the spread of the virus or when it is impossible to prove that employees contracted COVID at work, Reuters reported, citing the California Supreme Court’s decision.

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