According to a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Cook County, Illinois, 51-year-old Wando Evans tried to tell his supervisors and managers at the Evergreen Park Walmart location outside of Chicago that he wasn’t feeling well and was showing symptoms of Covid-19. The lawsuit alleges that those warnings were ignored until the store finally sent him home from work on March 23. Evans was found dead in his home just two days later.
He wasn’t the only one. Another employee of the same location would die four days after Mr. Evans. The lawsuit alleges that supervisors and managers knew that this employee was symptomatic as well, yet chose to ignore their employee’s concerns.
As sales surged while frantic Americans stocked up on everything from paper products to canned goods, requests from the Evans family to use an employee emergency relief fund to cover Wando Evans’ burial expenses went ignored by both the local store as well as Walmart’s corporate offices. Finally, after learning about the conditions their relative was working under, the Evans family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the mega-retailer.
Those conditions, if proven true, violate almost every piece of guidance that has been handed down to try to flatten the curve and keep Americans safe when they do venture out. The Evans’ lawsuit alleges a lack of cleaning of the Evergreen Park location, a failure to enforce social distancing guidelines, a failure to notify employees when one of their colleagues began showing symptoms, and a failure to provide protective equipment like masks and gloves. In essence, Walmart employees were left to fend completely for themselves, and the result was two employee deaths in less than a week at one location.
The corporation issued a statement and would like people to know that it is “mourning” the losses “along with their families.”