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I have no doubt we will see many negligence lawsuits in the future, especially when an employer cannot produce a daily record of screening or any education about workplace prevention and spread.
CHICAGO, IL, August 08, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Auscura, a leader in automating healthcare communication, today announced that in response to a growing number of wrongful death lawsuits by families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, that their SmartContact solution can alleviate enterprise risk while also keeping employees safe. The SmartContact solution utilizes web-based communication automation and can gather actionable data daily to prevent the spread of disease, allowing for both viable records to be kept and enhancing safety in the workplace.
According to Bloomberg Law's database of court dockets, there were at least 14 wrongful death lawsuits filed by mid-June tied to the Coronavirus pandemic. Employers are being sued by the families of workers who believe they should be compensated for their loved ones having contracted fatal cases of COVID-19 on the job. The contention is their family members were not adequately protected, which makes them entitled to compensation. Attorneys attest that these types of suits are an attempt to bypass state workers' compensation systems, which, though they vary state to state, provide medical benefits or lower cost recompense when employees are injured or killed on the job. These systems typically don't allow employees or their families to sue unless gross negligence or willful misconduct can be proven - thus, the biggest challenge for a wrongful death case is showing and proving that an employee contracted the virus on the job which, then, led to death.
SmartContact from Auscura is a 30-second e-survey used as a virtual screening tool for employees returning to the workplace that takes into account both day-of symptoms as well as any exposure risk. The data can be quickly retrieved whenever needed and can serve as the recommended injury and illness logs OSHA announced in May that employers would be required to keep. Keeping the workplace healthy can help alleviate any potential litigation.
"If you ask COVID-19 patients, most work outside the home or live with someone that does, and there is wide variability in workplace safety," says Scaletta, MD, Founder and CEO of Auscura. "I have no doubt we will see many negligence lawsuits in the future, especially when an employer cannot produce a daily record of screening or any education about workplace prevention and spread."
SmartContact meets both OSHA and CDC requirements as well as HIPAA privacy standards. It's also more accurate and cost-effective than thermal entrance scanning, which requires a person to ask about symptoms. Additionally, SmartContact can recognize clusters and immediately alert company leadership. With SmartContact, employees get an automated text message every morning with a link to a short survey to assess their risk levels.
"Auscura's return-to-work solution was designed to proactively keep employees and their families safe, which requires great education and daily wellbeing checks," said Dr. Scaletta.
The Wall Street Journal reports that death tort lawsuits have already been filed against Walmart Inc., Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Safeway, Tyson Foods, as well as health care centers. The burden of proof would rest on showing willful misconduct by these institutions, reckless infliction alleging they either shut down too late or continued operations despite knowing that an employee displayed symptoms of COVID-19. These types of litigation can often lead to enormous sums in damages and settlements.
SmartContact helps businesses mitigate their liability by requiring their employees to waive risk while attesting to having read disease prevention materials as well as any other related company regulations. The platform can screen employees ahead of time and immediately alert supervisors as well as provide helpful resources if they become infected. Additionally, SmartContact can identify clusters of cases and keep a complete record of it all.
Auscura was founded in 2012 by a physician informaticist to automate patient-provider communication in ways that are effective, affordable, and simple to implement. Its SmartContact™ platform facilitates healthcare messaging for a diverse set of use cases in ways that are effective, affordable, and easy to implement. The name, Auscura, conjoins the Latin roots aus (to listen) and cura (to help) and conveys our mission of eliciting patient feedback and using it to improve outcomes and experience.
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