Earlier this year, a Texas resident who worked at Tyson Foods became injured on the job, caught COVID-19, and died. And now her family is suing her employer as a result. This is just one of many wrongful death lawsuits we've seen in the news in recent weeks due to COVID-19. Take a look at the details of the case, and then contact a Maryland personal injury attorney if you have questions about your own virus-related situation.
Injured and Ill at Work
Pwar Gay was a meat cutter at the Tyson Foods meatpacking plant, which is located in Amarillo, TX. While at work one day, she tripped, fell down, and hurt her knee.
Her employer sent her to the company clinic for immediate treatment. Rather than allow her to go home to recover or get medical treatment from her own doctor, she was required to return to work right away because the company was short staffed.
As she started working again despite the injury, she quickly felt sick and had trouble breathing. She was taken to the hospital, where it was confirmed she had COVID-19. She passed away on May 8.
The Family's Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The victim's family—which includes her husband and four kids—opted to file a wrongful death lawsuit against her employer. The lawsuit alleges that Tyson Foods in Amarillo did not provide employees with any personal protective equipment (PPE) despite the fact that 4,500 employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
At least 18 other employees there have died from the virus. Those deaths may have been prevented if the company had been more proactive about protecting its staff in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Tyson also doesn't buy workers' compensation insurance for its staff, as it offers an injury settlement program instead.
The wrongful death lawsuit claims that the family of the victim experienced mental anguish and financial loss as a result of her sudden death. Looking at the high number of employees who contracted the virus at Tyson Foods, this is probably not the only COVID-19 lawsuit the Texas location will be facing in the near future.
Wrongful Death Claims in Maryland
It can be devastating to lose a loved one suddenly, whether due to an employer failing to protect against the spread of COVID-19 or another problem altogether. If you've experienced this type of loss lately, consider talking to a Maryland personal injury lawyer to find out if you have a strong case.
After all, when a family member passes away, you not only have to take time to grieve, but also plan—and pay for—a funeral. You might also be left with hospital bills and other expenses due to the sudden death, and sometimes you have no way to pay those bills because you were relying on your deceased loved one's income. This is why wrongful death lawsuits exist.
Some of the economic and non-economic damages you may be entitled to include the following:
- Funeral costs
- Hospital bills
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Mental anguish
If you want a chance to get compensation for these and other damages, contact a Maryland personal injury attorney today to discuss your case. You deserve to only worry about grieving the loss, not trying to pay the bills you're left with after a wrongful death.