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Staffers allege that employer ignored COVID precautions

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man claims that a national addiction treatment program with offices in Pittsfield and Cummington failed to take precautions to protect him, fellow staff members, as well as residential clients from COVID-19 infection.

Stephen Seward and four co-workers filed a lawsuit in Hampshire Superior Court against Vertava Health LLC alleging that prior to February 2021 the company had no clear protocols on how to prevent or manage a COVID-19 outbreak, the Berkshire Eagle reported.

Michale Aleo, the attorney representing the five employees, told the publication that when the plaintiffs would raise concerns about how the company is handling a potential outbreak “they were either ignored or, worse, fired.”

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“Given this last year that we have collectively struggled through, such conduct by the facility, as the plaintiffs have alleged, is simply unconscionable,” Aleo wrote in an email.

A Vertava executive declined to comment on the lawsuit and said that the company is “committed to the safety and well-being of our staff and maintaining the highest level of quality and care for our patients.”

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