Back in 2016, there were a number of multi-million dollar verdicts in cases involving second hand exposure to asbestos that addressed the issue of whether an employer should be liable to the family members of an employee who brought home asbestos on their clothes. See here, here, here and here.
The same issue is now back in the news thanks to a a couple of lawsuits filed by the spouses of people who contracted COVID-19 at work and then infected the plaintiffs' at home.
As I explained back then, in the asbestos cases, defendants typically would argue that liability should be limited to the injury to the person who was exposed directly. Otherwise, any bystander who came in contact with this person could sue.
It is not a frivolous argument, but courts in the asbestos cases were able to avoid it by limiting possible liability to the spouses of the workers who had been directly exposed to asbestos.
According to this story in the ABA Journal, two complaints arguing COVID related injuries have been filed already and more are expected.