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Local News

Woman sues Lockport company over COVID-19 infection: lawsuit

Company owner said measures were taken to prevent spread of virus

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A woman’s lawsuit said a Lockport-based manufacturer failed to protect her husband from a COVID-19 infection but the company’s owner disputed that claim.

On Aug. 11, Miriam Alvarez Reynoso filed a lawsuit against Byrne & Schaefer, located at 1061 C Caton Farm Road. The lawsuit claimed her husband Servando Reynoso worked as a parts assembler for the company and became ill on April 12.

The next day, he received confirmation he had been exposed to COVID-19 at work and both he and Miriam Reynoso were tested for the virus at AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, the lawsuit claimed, and they learned they were both positive for COVID-19.

The lawsuit largely claimed Byrne & Schaefer failed to cleanse and sterilize work areas, failed to implement social distancing guidelines, failed to provide personal protective equipment and failed to implement infection prevention measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tim Byrne, owner of Byrne & Schaefer, said that when the COVID-19 outbreak first started, the company offered employees the choice of not coming to work and the temperatures of employees were taken every morning.

“We did everything we thought we should, including taking temperatures of everybody and we always provided gloves and masks,” Byrne said.

He said Servando Reynoso, who no longer works for the company, was the only employee who refused to have his temperature taken every morning and he was the first employee to become sick. Byrne said he himself became sick from COVID-19 after Servando Reynoso.

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