Staffing firm lured nurses to unsafe work in New York, $500K lawsuit claims

Three nurses from Alabama who were recruited to work in New York City hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic are suing a staffing firm after finding what they considered to be unsafe working conditions, according to a recently filed lawsuit cited by Business Insider.

Wyatt Logan, Alexis Allen and Latricia Hickenbottom filed the lawsuit April 6 against Overland Park, Kan.-based recruiting firm Krucial Staffing.

The nurses accuse the firm of "profiteering from the crisis, putting nurses' lives at risk, and making promises that its CEO knew he couldn't keep." 

They claim they had to work without proper protective gear and were required to work outside their fields of competence.

They were recruited via a mass text sent in March to nurses asking them to deploy to New York to assist in the public health crisis, according to the lawsuit. The text came from Krucial Staffing CEO Brian Cleary. The lawsuit states that the text said all nurses or nurse practitioners would receive appropriate personal protective equipment; be paid about $10,000 a week or $13,000 for nurse practitioners; receive a stipend of $76 daily for meals; and be housed at the New Yorker Hotel.

While the experienced nurses were willing to go to New York, none of them "would have done it for any money had they known they were putting their lives at risk, as well as, potentially, their families," the lawsuit states. "They also wouldn't have come had they known they would have to violate normative standards of nursing care." 

The nurses seek compensatory damages of no less than $500,000 as well as an injunction preventing Krucial from placing staff showing symptoms of COVID-19 on airplanes without quarantine or testing.

Krucial denies the claims. The firm told Becker's it "will vehemently defend ourselves against these false claims. As this is now a legal matter, we are unable to comment further on the advice of counsel." 

Read the lawsuit here


More articles on workforce:
Beaumont Health offers blood antibody testing to 38,000 employees, inpatients
Kaiser Permanente, unions agree on benefits to help front-line workers during pandemic
Florida health system quarantines 66 employees after 'exposure incident' 

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