If you or someone you know has suffered an illness/death due to contracting Covid-19 at work, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, employers may be responsible for taking actions to protect essential workers from harm associated with working during the COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) pandemic. Based on the obvious complications and dangers caused by COVID-19 to “essential employees,” employers will be responsible for ensuring the safety of their employees. If the employer fails to take actions that a reasonable employer would take under the same or similar circumstances, they may face legal action.
An employee who worked for Walmart in Illinois recently died of complications from the COVID-19 virus. The estate of the deceased employee has filed a lawsuit against Walmart. The basis of this lawsuit is that the employer was negligent in protecting its employees from the risks associated with working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Walmart is liable for the wrongful death of its employee for:
- Failing to provide its employees (including the deceased) with Personal Protective Equipment (masks, gloves, etc.)
- Failing to undertake measures to appropriately disinfect the store
- Failing to sufficiently advise employees about the risks they faced working during the pandemic
- Failing to inform employees that other employees at the store had tested positive for the Coronavirus.
A wrongful death lawsuit like the one filed in Illinois could be filed in Wisconsin, although the law only allows for certain people to bring wrongful death actions. These people include:
- The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate
- The surviving spouse of the decedent
- The domestic partner of the decedent
- The child of the decedent
- The parent or guardian of the decedent
Damages typically awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Any medical expenses for treatment of injuries resulting from the negligent act that led to the death
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages or income that the decedent would have earned if they had not been killed
- Loss of society and companionship
A wrongful death lawsuit may also include a survivorship claim, which seeks compensation for the deceased person’s pain and suffering prior to their death. If the deceased person experienced prolonged mental or health complications as a result of COVID-19 prior to their death, the party that brings the wrongful death claim could also bring a survivorship claim.
If your family member is or was an “essential employee” and has contracted and/or died from complications of COVID-19, you may want to discuss the facts of your case with an experienced attorney to determine whether a claim may be brought on behalf of your loved one. The attorneys at Halling & Cayo, S.C. will be happy to discuss such a claim with you. Please contact us today.
David Seth Hill focuses his practice on bankruptcy, securities litigation, creditor’s rights, collections, business law, and commercial litigation. He has experience handling a very broad range of civil litigation matters and represents clients throughout Wisconsin. One of Seth’s unique skills is that he has a great deal of experience in obtaining funds in order to satisfy judgments for his clients. Seth is a 2009 graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School. While in law school Seth was a legal intern for the Innocence Project. He also served as an editor on the Law Review. He received his Undergraduate degree in Psychology from Montana State University in 2005.