Woman SUES husband’s construction company employer for ‘failing to take basic precautions in the workplace and causing the spread of COVID-19 in their household’ in first-of-its-kind court case in California
- Corby Kuciemba filed the lawsuit in an attempt to hold her husband’s employer, Victory Woodworks Inc responsible for her getting the infection
- According to lawsuit, company’s failure to take basic precautions caused her husband Robert Kuciemba to contract virus and bring it home and infect his wife
- The complaint says that the Kuciembas both required extended hospitalizations and now suffer from after-effects, with Corby having to be placed on a ventilator
- The case is a first-of-its kind lawsuit that US District Judge Maxine M. Chesney is trying to determine whether or not to throw out
- If Chesney doesn’t throw the case out, the couple’s lawyers will have to prove that Robert contracted the virus at his workplace, which could be challenging
A California woman has sued her husband’s employer for causing the spread of COVID-19 in their household in a first-of-its kind lawsuit.
Corby Kuciemba filed the lawsuit in an attempt to hold her husband’s employer, Victory Woodworks Inc responsible for her getting the infection.
According to the lawsuit, which was obtained by Bloomberg, the company’s failure to take basic precautions caused her husband Robert Kuciemba to contract the virus and unknowingly bring it home and infect his wife.
Corby Kuciemba has sued her husband’s employer, Victory Woodworks (file image), for causing the spread of COVID-19 in their household in a first-of-its kind lawsuit
The complaint says the couple started experiencing symptoms of the virus just days after Robert finished up a project at a construction site.
According to the lawsuit, while at the site, Robert had been exposed to workers who had been infected with the virus. Workers at the company were allegedly moved from one site to another in the San Francisco area.
The Kuciembas tested positive for COVID on July 16, the complaint reads.
‘Both plaintiffs were ultimately hospitalized after they developed respiratory symptoms from COVID-19. Mrs Kuciemba, who is 65, and a high risk individual due to her age and health, developed a severe infection and remained hospitalized until early August 2020,’ according to their lawsuit.
The complaint also says that the Kuciembas also suffer from after-effects of the virus.
According to the suit, Victory Woodworks ‘failed to properly screen employees for COVID-19’ and ‘failed to cleanse and sanitize the workspace’.
The suit also says that the company didn’t ‘provide personal protective equipment’ nor did they ‘implement a social distancing policy’.
The lawsuit called the company’s actions ‘malicious, oppressive and fraudulent’, adding that Corby is entitled to recover punitive damages.
Bill Bogdan, a lawyer for the company, told 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.’
Their lawyer, Mark Venardi, said the case is similar to how a worker accidentally brings home asbestos fibers from his workplace that make his wife sick.
That particular situation is one in which California law holds the employer responsible.
‘There is no material difference between the spouse bringing home a virus instead of a fiber,’ Venardi told Bloomberg.
Another attorney for the couple, Martin Zurada, told Bloomberg that even if the husband didn’t get sick with the infection, his wife still has an ‘independent’ claim because she spent weeks on a ventilator.
If US District Judge Maxine M. Chesney doesn’t throw the case out, the couple’s lawyers will have to prove that Robert contracted the virus at his workplace.
In addition, if the case goes forward it could serve as a barometer for similar lawsuit across the US.
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