California county employee’s COVID-19 death could have been prevented, lawsuit alleges

A family alleges that Riverside County is liable for an employee’s death from COVID-19 and his wife’s debilitating “long-haul” virus symptoms after ignoring his pleas to work from home and implement safeguards at his workplace.

Michael Haywood’s widow and one of his adult sons held a news conference Monday, Jan. 10, outside Riverside County Superior Court, where attorney V. James DeSimone’s firm planned to file the lawsuit alleging wrongful death and violating state regulations protecting disabled workers.

“We are here today because the county of Riverside did not do everything reasonably necessary to protect the lives of its employees … (and) the life of Michael Haywood,” DeSimone said.

The Yucaipa resident “was a long-term employee. He was a good employee. And instead of providing those reasonable accommodations — a 61-year-old man, a man with his life in front of him … the county denied it.”

Attorney V. James DeSimone, left, who represents the family of Michael Haywood, a Riverside County employee who died of COVID-19, speaks during a news conference outside the historic courthouse in downtown Riverside on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. He announced a lawsuit alleging that Haywood’s supervisors ignored safety measures and his pleas to work from home. The family alleges he caught the coronavirus from work, which led to his death in February 2021. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

A photo of Michael Haywood, a Riverside County employee who died of COVID-19, is seen Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, during a news conference outside the historic courthouse in Riverside on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. His family announced a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that safety measures and his pleas to work from home were ignored. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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Dustin Haywood, 31, left, the son of Michael Haywood, speaks during a Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, news conference in downtown Riverside to announce a wrongful death lawsuit against Riverside County. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Michael Haywood holds one of his 11 grandchildren in an undated family photo. A lawsuit alleges Riverside County, which employed Haywood, ignored his requests to work from home or take precautions against COVID-19, from which he died in February 2021. (Courtesy of Haywood family)

Michael Haywood, seen in an undated family photo, worked more than 10 years for the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. He died of COVID-19 on Feb. 2, 2021, and his family is suing the county, alleging wrongful death. (Courtesy of Haywood family)

Elizabeth Haywood, the widow of Michael Haywood, a Riverside County employee who died of COVID-19, speaks Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, at a news conference in downtown Riverside to announce a lawsuit alleging his supervisors ignored safety measures and his pleas to work from home. They family alleges that he caught the coronavirus from work and it led to his death in February 2021. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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In an emailed statement, county spokesperson Brooke Federico said the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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