May 14, 2020 — The mother of a Texas nursing home employee who died after being infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) has filed a $1 million wrongful death lawsuit against his employer.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Maurice D., a 51 year-old CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) who worked at West Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Austin, Texas, for 25 years.
He is believed to be the first healthcare worker to die from COVID-19 in Texas. The lawsuit is also the first COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuit in Texas.
According to his family, Maurice was healthy and had no underlying health problems before he was infected with the virus and died of respiratory distress and pneumonia.
Tragically, he died without any friends or family by his bedside due to visitor restrictions at the hospital.
In the lawsuit, his mother accuses West Oaks of putting “profits over safety” by failing to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She claims the facility should have known about the imminent threat of COVID-19 by the first week of March, but the facility did nothing to prevent an outbreak or protect employees and residents.
The lawsuit also indicates that West Oaks was cited for several PPE violations during a surprise inspection on March 26, 2020 by Texas Health and Human Services.