Family of COVID-19 victim files wrongful death lawsuit against nursing home employer
AUSTIN, TX – The family of an Austin nursing assistant who died of COVID-19 in April is suing the nursing home where he worked, according to a report by KXAN.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed on Wednesday and concerns the April 17 death of nursing assistant Maurice Dotson. The suit seeks to hold the workplace responsible for not taking earlier actions to prevent the deaths of patients and workers due to the novel coronavirus.
According to the lawsuit, West Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and its operator Regency Integrated Health Services failed to provide adequate protective gear for its workers tending to sick patients.
An excerpt from the lawsuit states that “Regency put profits over the safety of its patients and staff by failing to provide personal protective equipment (“PPE”) during the COVID-19 pandemic,” and “unnecessarily exposed its patients and staff to unreasonable risks of serious harm” due to a lack of provided protective gear.
Also, according to the lawsuit, Texas Health and Human Services “conducted a surprise inspection of West Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Defendant was cited for several PPE violations” around March 26.
KXAN’s report describes Dotson as a model employee who chose not to abandon needy patients in the nursing home.
Attorney Kathleen Kearney said that Dotson “treated [the patients] with respect and dignity, and then his employer didn’t give him that in return.”
Dotson died of COVID-19 on April 17 at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, and his family could not be by his side due to coronavirus visitor restrictions in place at the time.
The family is suing for more than $1 million dollars in relief and is seeking a trial by jury.
Regency, the defendant, did not issue a comment on the case.
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