The New York State Nurses Association filed three lawsuits against the state and two hospitals this week for failing "to protect the health and safety of nurses treating COVID-19 patients."
The lawsuit alleges that the Department of Health, Westchester Medical Center and Montefiore Medical Center did not provide direct care nurses with at least one N95 respirator daily, sick leave, and were still forced to come to work sick.
“Initially, Westchester Medical Center gave me only one N95 respirator, which I was required to use for a week’s time. Because it was too big… I was exposed to infectious airborne molecules that could reach my nose and mouth,” according to an affidavit filed by Liesl Van Ledjte, a nurse at Westchester Medical Center.
Another affidavit from nurse Hillary Schneck at Vassar Brothers Medical Center claims, “I still had COVID-19 symptoms. Notwithstanding this, a supervisor in the staffing office directed me to report to work. That same day… I was informed that I had tested positive for COVID-19.”
These lawsuits were filed in the New York Supreme Court in New York County, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the New York Supreme Court in Westchester County.