Walmart Faces Lawsuit Over Worker's Death From Coronavirus Complications

Walmart Faces Lawsuit Over Worker's Death From Coronavirus Complications

Walmart Faces Lawsuit Over Worker's Death From Coronavirus Complications

In a lawsuit filed in an IL circuit court yesterday, the estate of late Walmart associate Wando Evans, who worked at the Evergreen Park, Ill. outpost for more than a decade, claimed that Evans and other employees contracted COVID-19 while working at the store. He had been sent home from work two days earlier.

Two employees of one Walmart store in the Chicago area have died after contracting the coronavirus.

The city's mayor suspended the Walmart store's liquor license after learning of the two employees' deaths.

"At a minimum, (Walmart managers) were responsible for notifying store workers that a colleague had symptoms consistent with COVID-19, providing their employees personal protective equipment such as masks and latex gloves, implementing social distancing, and sending exposed employees' home until cleared by medical professionals", Tony S. Kalogerakos, an attorney for Evans' family, said in a statement. Store management was accused of failing to provide necessary supplies or training to workers.

"As a direct and proximate result of the ... acts of negligence and willful and wanton misconduct, [Evans] was infected by COVID-19, which ultimately resulted in his death", the complaint reads, adding that the management "knew or should have known that individuals at the store were at a very high risk of [COVID-19] infection and exposure". "While neither associate had been at the store in more than a week, we took action to reinforce our cleaning and sanitizing measures, which include a deep-cleaning of key areas of the store". The retailer said the store passed a third-party safety and compliance assessment, as well as a health department inspection, within the past week.

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Another Walmart worker from the same Evergreen Park store reportedly died from the coronavirus on March 29.

Walmart is one of several USA retailers that have continued to operate as essential businesses in recent weeks as cities around the country enact stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of coronavirus.

"We want to encourage customers to bring the fewest number of people per family necessary to shop, allow for space with other customers while shopping, and practice social distancing while waiting in lines".

The company said in a statement it was taking the matter seriously and would respond to the lawsuit once served with a copy of the complaint.

Walmart is one of several companies that have faced scrutiny in recent days over working conditions as they continued to operate during the outbreak.

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