Chicago income member Jeff Kehl recently published an article for CLM Magazine titled, “Walmart’s COVID-19 Problem.” Jeff provides a full analysis of the first COVID-19 wrongful death suit filed in Cook County, Evans v. Walmart, (Cook County, Cause No. 2020 L 003938) and examines direct civil suits against employers for COVID-19 deaths.
He provides an overview of the Evans estate’s numerous claims and the viability of the lawsuit in relation to the Exclusive Remedy Doctrine. Jeff notes that “most states preclude an employee from filing a civil suit against his or her employer for personal injuries sustained while working” under their workers’ compensation acts.
Detailing the Exclusive Remedy Doctrine, Jeff breaks down intentional torts and the Dual Persona doctrine, the only two exceptions to Exclusive Remedy Doctrine.
Further explaining the Exclusive Remedy Doctrine, Jeff breaks down an employer’s duty and causation. Jeff states “the very unique nature of the COVID-19 pandemic creates some interesting obstacles to any plaintiff getting past the summary judgment stage or a defense verdict…However, Evans demonstrates that because of the phenomenal nature of the pandemic, employers are likely to see more employees attempting to pursue civil liability against employers for illness and death because of the virus.”