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Leighton Law Represents Miami Nurse Practitioner in Deliberate COVID-19 Infection Lawsuit

Leighton Law just filed a lawsuit on behalf of a nurse practitioner who was deliberately infected with COVID-19 by her boss in Miami, Florida earlier this year.

The case seeks damages from the offending doctor and the clinic and owners who refused to allow PPE and COVID testing.

Venise Jean-Baptiste worked as a family nurse practitioner at Project Access Foundation’s Biscayne Medical in Miami, Florida, which billed itself as a community-based medical service system whose staff has many years of experience in delivering and coordinating care. As the pandemic began, Venise was concerned about the lack of PPE and COVID-19 guidelines in the clinic. N95 masks, which provide the most protection against airborne viruses, were not available and staff members were prohibited from wearing the masks that they did have for all patients.

In addition, they were instructed not to give masks to patients unless they displayed overt symptoms of COVID-19. As the virus took hold in the community, Venise reiterated the need for the staff to wear masks and was repeatedly refused. She asked that the staff be permitted to use the COVID test kits to ensure that they were not infected and would not be spreading the virus. She was further told by the medical director, Dr. Joseph Piperato, that the reason against testing was because they did not want to shut the office down for two weeks if someone tested positive. The logic was: without testing, there would be no positive test. Therefore, the office would stay open and continue to see patients and generate revenue.

Nurse files suit against doctor, claims he denied her PPE, infected her with COVID-19

Venise was also concerned about the medical director’s laissez-faire attitude about the pandemic. She says her boss wasn’t taking the virus seriously. Not only had he ignored her requests for PPE and told her in no uncertain terms that her input was not appreciated, he attended the crowded “Winter Party” in Miami Beach and came to work afterward visibly ill. Venise noticed the doctor’s cough and suggested that he should take a COVID-19 test.

Leighton Law Represents Miami Nurse Practitioner in Deliberate COVID-19 Infection Lawsuit

Leighton Law Represents Miami Nurse Practitioner in Deliberate COVID-19 Infection Lawsuit

His response? He coughed in her face and said, “If I’ve got it, now you’ve got it.”

His intentional response to the nurse practitioner’s suggestion to take a COVID-19 test in the midst of a pandemic caused her to come down with a serious case of the potentially deadly disease, which hospitalized her for weeks and sickened her two-year-old son. As an asthmatic, she developed serious, life-threatening symptoms that required weeks of hospitalization. She suffered blood clots and pulmonary emboli, medical consequences that will last a lifetime.

Ms. Jean-Baptiste has filed suit alleging that Dr. Piperato’s behavior toward her was deliberate, negligent, reckless and dangerous, he owed a duty of care to her as well as the clinic’s patients and the general public to warn of dangerous conditions including the presence of COVID-19. He also had a duty of care to provide PPE to protect and prevent the exposure and transmission of COVID-19. He failed in all of these duties. Dr. Piperato knew there was a reasonable chance that he had COVID-19, yet he failed to take a simple test to rule it out and willfully spread it to his nurse by coughing on her.

Had Dr. Piperato tested positive for COVID-19 prior to this incident with our client, the clinic would have had to shut down for two weeks, which would have had financial consequences. He was willing to risk the spread of a deadly virus in order to protect profits. Fortunately, Venise Jean-Baptiste (and her child) lived to tell the tale. The lawsuit seeks to hold Dr. Joseph Piperato, Project Access Foundation, Larkin Community Hospital, Jorge Carballo, and Dr. Jack Michel accountable for the deliberate transmission of COVID-19 and negligent failure to have PPE, protocols and testing.

We may never know how many patients and members of the public were unknowing infected by the actions of this clinic and Dr. Piperato.

The pandemic is deadly serious. Please take it seriously and stay safe. And yes, wear a mask and get tested. Please.

Watch the full video by Christian De La Rosa at Local 10 News https://www.local10.com/video/local-news/2020/10/24/miami-nurse-suing-doctor-for-allegedly-purposely-infecting-her-with-covid-19/

Article by:

John Leighton

A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite

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