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East Texas Woman sues former employer after spending 3 weeks on a ventilator, due to COVID-19

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WILLS POINT, Texas (KETK) – A Wills Point nurse claims she got COVID-19 while working at an assisted living facility, and now she’s fighting back in court.

Lisa Collins worked as a nurse at the Crestwood Health and Rehabilitation Center. After spending three weeks on a ventilator, she is now suing her former employer, claiming it violated the “standard of care.”

Collins claims while working at the facility, she was unknowingly exposed to a new resident with COVID-19, who had not yet been tested for the virus.

“Registered nurses are on the front line of our countries battle against COVID-19, and they deserve far more respect from their employers,” said Kathleen Kearney, one of the lawyers representing her in the lawsuit.

Pictured: Lisa Collins

According to the lawsuit obtained by KETK News, Collins alledges she was pressured to stay on the job, after developing a fever of 103. The suit continues stating, instead of sending her home, the facility director told her to remove her “personal protection equipment and stand in front of a fan to cool off.”

“Lisa Collins is really disappointed with the way she was treated by her employer and is demanding accountability and respect for registered nurses,” explained Kearney.

Collin’s lawyers say Crestwood then threatened to report Collins to the State Board of Nursing if she stayed home.

“It’s egregious, unacceptable, and should not be tolerated in Texas, we need to treat our nurses better here in Texas,” said Kearney.

Collins says she is “grateful for all of the nurses and therapists taking care of her.”

This is the second case in the past five days, where nurses and family members claim front line workers are being put at risk, not by their patients, but by their employers.

“The reality is that we’ve known, and operators of nursing homes have known for a very long time that if it wasn’t COVID-19 some type of epidemic or pandemic was going to come banging on their doors and they needed to be prepared. We filed this lawsuit because this nursing home we believe unlike any others was not prepared,” said Quentin Brogdon, co-counsel working with Crain Brogdon Rogers Law Firm.

Collins is in the hospital going through rehab, but is expected to be released Friday, August 21, 2020.

“Lisa Collins is a fighter, she was a fighter for the residents at that nursing home, she was a fighter to protect the other employees in that nursing home, and she had to ultimately fight for her life for three weeks on a respirator,” said Brogdon.

In response to the lawsuit Crestwood sent KETK the following statement:

“We are not in a position to comment on the specifics of the situation involving the recently filed litigation. However, generally speaking, I do want to affirm that we would not take, and have not taken, disciplinary action against or terminated an employee for developing COVID-19 or otherwise testing positive for the coronavirus.”

Ryan Reese, Administrator of Crestwood Health and Rehabilitation Center

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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