LOS ANGELES—A longtime employee of See’s Candy Shops Inc. is suing the company, alleging that poor coronavirus protocol in the packaging warehouse in Carson, Calif., caused her to contract the disease in 2020 and later infect her husband and one of her daughters, ultimately causing her spouse’s death at age 69.
Maria Saucillo of Upland, the widow of the late Gilbert Saucillo Jr., brought the negligence/wrongful death suit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking unspecified damages. Maria Saucillo’s two daughters, Emma Saucillo and Patricia Flynn, also are plaintiffs. A See’s representative could not be immediately reached.
In March 2020, employees of the See’s Candy Shops packaging warehouse on Alameda Street told management they were concerned about the close proximity of their working conditions, their lack of appropriate personal protective equipment and their fear of contracting the virus, the suit states.
The employees were rebuffed by management and Maria Saucillo, like her colleagues, was forced to work near other employees without proper PPE, the suit states
“Multiple employees were coughing and sick, but were not sent home,” the suit states.
Maria Saucillo subsequently contracted the coronavirus from another employee and in late March 2020, See’s shut down the warehouse, according to the suit.
“At that point it was too late,” the suit states.
Maria, Gilbert and Emma Saucillo all tested positive for the coronavirus, the suit states. Although Emma Saucillo struggled, she survived, but Gilbert Saucillo battled the COVID-19 for about a month before dying on April 20, 2020, at San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland, according to the suit.
See’s “knew and should have known” that their alleged failure to take appropriate safety steps would increase the risk their employees would become infected and spread the virus by infecting one of more of their family members, the suit states.