The family of Walmart employee Wando Evans who died of complications of COVID-19 is suing the retailer for negligence. The lawsuit claims the Chicago area store where he worked ignored Evans symptoms and failed to let other workers and customers know he may have contracted the deadly disease. The suit was filed in Cook County, Illinois. Evans, an overnight stock and maintenance clerk with 15 years at the store was sent home on March 23, 2020 and was found dead two days later.
Another Walmart worker, 48 year old Phillip Thomas, who worked at the same store died four days after Evans. He also exhibited COVID-119 symptoms according to Angela Miller, the sister of Thomas. Miller lashed out at the retailer in an e-mailed statement released by the advocacy group United for Respect. “For weeks, my brother and his co-workers worked at Walmart without masks or gloves while thousands of customers came in every day. There was no social distancing enforced at the time and inadequate paid leave existed to make sure people weren’t going to work sick.”
Walmart released a short statement that said the company was heartbroken as a result of the deaths of both associates. Walmart declined further comment until they were served with the complaint. Since the deaths the company has taken steps to protect workers and customers in stores and is providing masks and gloves for associates who want them and installing sneeze guards at registers while limiting the number of shoppers in the stores. Traders Joes has temporarily closed six stores for virus related cleaning including three stores where employees had exhibited symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Traders Joes responded after an employee from Scarsdale, New York died of complications of COVID-19.
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