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Katt and Grace Extricate Major Airline from Attendant’s COVID-19 Wrongful Death Suit

June 29, 2021

William J. Katt (Partner, Milwaukee, WI) and Kathryn A. Grace (Partner-McLean, VA) succeeded in arguing for a dismissal before the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in a case brought by a flight attendant alleging a major U.S. airline held an unsafe training session that exposed her to COVID-19 and led to her husband's death. Bill and Kathryn moved to dismiss, arguing the attendant’s husband was not the airline’s employee, and therefore it owed him no duty of care, and that a duty of care only exists if a special relationship exists between the airline and the husband. While the judge found that the injury was foreseeable, that the airline’s conduct was close enough to the injury to indicate a duty, that the airline carries the moral blame and that policy would favor preventing future harm by assigning a duty, she added that the "floodgates" effect of doing so outweighs those factors. The plaintiff intends to appeal the decision.

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