On February 15, 2022, the federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas, in
Garcia Rodriguez v. Blaine Larsen Farms, Inc., held that WC exclusive remedy barred a tort lawsuit brought against an employer by the family and estate of an employee who contracted COVID-19 at work and subsequently died of the illness. The lawsuit included several claims such as negligence, negligent entrustment, and wrongful death.
In this case, the employee was a foreign citizen holding a temporary agricultural worker visa. The agreement between the employer and the employee required the employer to provide the employee with free housing, transportation, and other necessities including medical care. The employee’s family alleged that the employer experienced rolling outbreaks of COVID-19 among its workforce and improperly housed sick employees without providing adequate supplies, food, or medical care, causing the employee to contract and die from COVID-19. The family also alleged that the employee died while “working for the employer” and from “a workplace accident.” The court reasoned that these allegations meant the employee’s death was work related and therefore concluded the claims were barred by WC exclusive remedy.
For more information on other cases monitored by NCCI’s Legal Division, visit previous Court Case Updates and
Court Case Insights, under the
Legal section of
This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for informational purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. Use of this article for any purpose other than as set forth herein is strictly prohibited.