Judge rules businesses can sue insurers for coronavirus losses
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A Pennsylvania meatpacking plant employee passed away from COVID-19 related complications on April 3, 2020, and his family filed a wrongful death suit in Philadelphia County on May 7, 2020 (Estate of Enock Benjamin v. JBS, S.A., et al). The complaint alleges that the employer, a large meatpacking plant, ignored guidelines imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and OSHA by failing to provide personal protective equipment (PPE), did not follow social distancing guidelines, discouraged workers from taking sick leave if they were ill, and failed to provide any testing or monitoring of employees’ health.
In addition, the complaint alleges that the employer failed to warn employees that other employees were infected with COVID-19 and misrepresented to workers that there was no risk of infection by coming to work, basically putting profits ahead of safety. The complaint also alleges that the employer willfully and intentionally withheld knowledge of COVID-19 infections in the workplace, that the workers relied on such misrepresentations and continued to show up for work, and that the workers then became ill.
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