In a case closely watched by business groups and the plaintiffs bar, the California Supreme Court on Thursday held that a company does not owe a duty of care under state law to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to their workers’ loved ones.

To find otherwise, Associate Justice Carol Corrigan wrote for the unanimous court, could lead to emergency service providers shutting down in a future pandemic for fear of liability and courts being clogged with fact-specific claims brought by millions of Californians.

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