Publix Sued Over Mask Policy By Family Of Employee Who Died Of Coronavirus

Publix Sued Over Mask Policy By Family Of Employee Who Died Of Coronavirus

The four children of a Publix employee who died due to coronavirus filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade on Monday, alleging their mask policy led to their father catching the virus.

During the coronavirus pandemic’s early days, Publix did not allow the employees who worked in the deli, seafood, and meat departments to wear masks. According to the Miami Herald, Gerardo Gutierrez, 70, unable to wear a mask or correctly social distance behind the deli counter, became infected with COVID-19 and passed away in April.

“Our family is in shock that Publix would prevent its employees from staying safe. Because of its careless decisions, our father is not here with us today,” his daughter Ariane Gutierrez said in a statement made by the family’s attorney, Michael Levine.

The lawsuit claims that on March 27 and 28, one of Gutierrez’s co-workers began showing symptoms of coronavirus and faults Publix for not sending the employee home. Instead, she continued to work in an environment that prevented her from wearing a mask and where social distancing was not possible, placing Gutierrez at risk.

After the employee tested positive, Gutierrez was sent home to quarantine. Shortly after, he began to feel feverish and developed a cough. He tested positive on April 7 and passed away later that month.

At the time, the company was following CDC guidelines regarding personal protective equipment. As of April 20, the company updated its policy to require employees to wear facial coverings. 

About ErinBoogie

Erin Boogie is a blogger for BallerAlert.com and producer/co-host of the weekly radio show In the Field Radio.

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