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EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. — The family of a local Walmart employee who died from COVID-19 is suing the company.

Wando Evans worked at the Walmart in Evergreen Park for 15 years. On March 25, he became the first of two employees at the store to die from the virus.

In their lawsuit, the family claims Evans was initially ignored when he mentioned his symptoms to store management. They said he died two days after he was sent home.

The family is suing Walmart for gross negligence, saying it did not follow the CDC’s or OSHA’s recommendations.

Walmart has released the following statement in regards to the lawsuit:

We are heartbroken at the passing of two associates at our Evergreen Park store and we are mourning along with their families. While neither associate had been at the store in more than a week, we took action to reinforce our cleaning and sanitizing measures, which include a deep-cleaning of key areas. Within the last week, the store passed a third-party safety and environmental compliance assessment as well as a health department inspection. As an extra precaution, we brought in an outside company to further clean and sanitize all high-touch surfaces in the store, which included the decontamination of front entrances, carts, registers and bathrooms, as well as food areas including produce and meat.

Additionally, we have taken steps across the country to protect our associates and customers, including additional cleaning measures, installing sneeze guards at registers, placing social distancing decals on the floors and limiting the number of customers in a store at a given time. We’ll continue to take steps, such as screening associates, conducting temperature checks, and providing masks and gloves for associates that want to use them. 

We take this issue seriously and will respond with the court once we have been served with the complaint.