TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The mother of the first Texas healthcare worker to die from the coronavirus is suing the healthcare facility for $1 million where he worked.
Maurice Dotson, 51, was a nurse’s aid at West Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in South Austin. But he and his family are from Denton.
On March 24, 2020, Maurice posted online, “I love what I do as a CNA, it’s rewarding to know you made a difference in someone’s life.”
Less than a month later, after suffering from severe respiratory distress and COVID-19 pneumonia — he was dead.
Dotson died without any friends or family by his bedside due to visitor restrictions in effect at hospitals.
His mother Florence is heartbroken.
In the lawsuit, she contends that the rehab center “put profits over the safety of its patients and staff by failing to provide personal protective equipment (“PPE”) during the COVID-19 pandemic. By failing to provide masks and other PPE, Regency unnecessarily exposed its patients and staff to unreasonable risks of serious harm causing Mr. Dotson’s untimely death. By the first week of March 2020, Regency knew or should have known about the COVID-19 outbreak at Life Care Center of Kirkland, a long term care facility in Washington state. Regency knew or should have known then that COVID-19 was an imminent threat to the health, safety and well-being of patients and staff but did nothing to protect them.”
“He went in all day every day knowing the dangers to take care of really his second family — the elderly infirmed population in this home. What he didn’t know was he wasn’t being taken care of,” said Florence’s attorney Quentin Brogdon.
In support of this claim, the lawsuit states,”Reports have indicated that, on or about March 26, 2020, Texas Health and Human Services conducted a surprise inspection of West Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Defendant was cited for several PPE violations.”
This is the first lawsuit over a COVID-19 death in Texas.