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Family members sue over employer's alleged requirement that employees not wear masks. Will there be more?

The debate over mask-wearing requirements is one of the most intriguing issues to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some states, like Florida, have been resistant to mask requirements.  The allegations in the lawsuit discussed in this article take that a step further and assert that a Florida employer actually prohibited its workers from wearing masks and other PPE. One of its employees later died of complications caused by COVID-19 and the family is now suing. It makes me wonder whether similar lawsuits in states where mask-wearing is frowned upon are not far behind.   

In a complaint filed in state court in Miami, the family of Gerardo Gutierrez, who died on April 28 at age 70 from complications caused by COVID-19, alleged that the Lakeland, Florida-based company breached its duty to keep its employees safe and not only knowingly failed to take proper precautions but actually prohibited its workers from wearing gloves and face masks for fear it would "incite panic" among customers.


litigation, food and beverage industry, covid-19, mask, coronavirus