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A federal district court has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by McDonald’s Corp. and two McDonald’s franchisees against its insurer, Austin Mutual Insurance Co., for refusing to defend McDonald’s in COVID-19 litigation filed by the fast-food chain’s employees, three of whom have either contracted the virus or fallen ill and experienced symptoms of the virus. The case is McDonald’s Corp. et al. v. Austin Mutual Insurance Co., filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Workers from four McDonald’s restaurants and family members and cohabitants filed the suit against McDonald’s and the franchisees in October 2020, alleging public nuisance and negligence due to the company’s decision to remain open during the pandemic, while failing to comply with “minimum basic health and safety standards at its restaurants.”

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