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Nurse Files Lawsuit after Being Fired from Chicago Senior Home for Calling Out COVID-19 Safety Issues

A nurse has filed a lawsuit against a Chicago-area senior home, claiming she was fired in retaliation for bringing up safety issues regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

According to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court, Andrea Hinich claims she was fired a day after she brought up safety lapses during a staff meeting at Norwood Crossing, 6016 N. Nina Avenue. 

Hinich was fired on April 22 for “insubordination” after she refused to take part in a plan to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to staff without required “fit testing.” Fit testing is a federally-required safety protocol for testing PPE on a person to determine they know their correct size and how to properly wear it. Norwood Crossing’s administration allegedly told her they don’t need to perform fit testing, and that PPE was being provided to employees to only “make them feel better.”  

Hinich was hired as an assistant nursing director at the facility in June 2019. She was responsible for supervising staff on the fourth floor. She claims her efforts to raise safety concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic were repeatedly ignored by her supervisors. 

Her bosses purportedly “reacted in hostile and negative ways” when she pointed out several issues at the senior home, including poor infection control, a lack of coronavirus treatment protocols, and no COVID-19 training for staff. 

Her bosses believed or anticipated she was reporting the alleged safety lapses to state officials or to the public, the lawsuit states. Hinich claims she was fired without warning and given false reasons for her termination.

Norwood Crossing is a 130-bed facility that has recorded 22 cases of the coronavirus and zero deaths, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The lawsuit names Norwood Crossing Association and its parent company Norwood Life Society as defendants. It is seeking at least $100,000 in damages. 

All nursing homes are required to have an infection control and prevention protocol for use in the event of an infectious disease outbreak. Facilities that don’t follow government-issued guidelines to protect their residents and staff from infection may be held liable for any resulting deaths

Chicago Nursing Home Negligence Attorney 

Has your loved one suffered a virus-related complication because of neglect? Contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC to set up a free initial consultation with a Chicago nursing home negligence attorney who has an A+ BBB rating and over 1,000 five-star reviews from his clients. 

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