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April 24, 2020

New York State Nurses Association Sues Over Failure to Protect Nurses from COVID-19

This week, the New York State Nurses Association filed three lawsuits alleging the New York State Department of Health, Montefiore Medical Center, and Westchester Medical Center independently failed to protect the health and safety of nurses treating COVID-19 patients. The complaints allege severe health and safety hazards to nurses, including rationing of personal protective equipment (PPE); failing to properly fit and train nurses on the use of PPE; failing to train redeployed nurses on treatment of COVID-19 patients; failing to properly ventilate COVID-19 patient areas; failing to protect nurses with underlying medical conditions; intimidating nurses who have publicly voiced their concerns; and compelling sick nurses to return to work without adequate quarantine, isolation, or sick leave. The complaints seek an injunction and temporary restraining order compelling the defendants to remedy these alleged deficiencies in order to protect nurses from contracting COVID-19.