Lawsuit filed against Publix after an employee died from COVID-19

The family of a Miami Beach man filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday against Publix Super Markets in excess of $30,000, several months after their loved one died from COVID-19.

Lawyers representing the family, Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain law firm, sent a press release Monday outlining the suit, as reported by WPLG Local 10 News.

Documents state that Gerardo Gutierrez, 70, died on April 28 after contracting COVID-19 from a co-worker at the Publix at 1920 West Avenue in Miami Beach.

The lawsuit claims that Publix management initially refused to allow employees to wear masks and gloves because they believed masks would “scare off customers.”

A timeline shows this decision was made after Governor Ron DeSantis declared a “State of Emergency” due to the spread of the virus.

“That reckless decision led to Gerardo’s death,” the news release stated.

According to the complaint, Gutierrez contracted the virus in late March while working in the deli section alongside a co-worker who displayed symptoms of the disease.

The co-worker eventually tested positive according to the document and Guiterriz was ordered to stay home, but soon developed a fever and also tested positive.

He died a month later on April 28.

Gerardo is survived by his four children Ariane, Gerardo, Rene and Jerryana, WPLG Local 10 News reached out to Publix for comment but has not heard back.

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