A district judge in Manhattan on Friday slapped down Amazon’s attempts to have a lawsuit against it moved to a more favorable location, likely setting the scene for the company to defend its COVID-19 labor practices in a New York court against the state’s attorney general.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said Amazon must answer the charges of state Attorney General Letitita James in a New York court as opposed to a federal one. James has claimed that Amazon has failed to protect its workers sufficiently from COVID-19 infection. 

Amazon had sought to have the suit moved to a federal court in Brooklyn as a prelude to having it dismissed. Rakoff will issue an explanation for his decision at a future date. 

James in a statement responding to the ruling said her office was “pleased with today’s decision to allow this case to be heard in state court, where it belongs.” 

“We look forward to making our case and continuing our work to protect workers,” she added.

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