The family of a Chicago-area Walmart employee who died from COVID-19 has filed a lawsuit against the retail giant, alleging that the company failed to take the precautions necessary to protect its employees during the coronavirus outbreak.

The law firm that filed the lawsuit on behalf of Wando Evans’ estate identified it as the first known wrongful death lawsuit related to COVID-19 in Illinois.

When asked for comment on the suit, a spokesman for Walmart said they “take the issue seriously and will respond with the court once we have been served with the complaint,” which was filed Monday in Cook County.

Evans, 51, had worked for 15 years as an overnight stock and maintenance associate at the Walmart Supercenter in Evergreen Park, located at 2500 W. 95th St., according to a statement from Injury Lawyers of Illinois, LLC.

The firm alleged that store management ignored Evans when he first mentioned his symptoms consistent with coronavirus before he was ultimately sent home from work on March 23. Two days later, his family said he was found dead at his home.

“I’m devastated because I know I won’t get a chance to say goodbye to him,” longtime friend Daryl Bell said in an interview last week. Bell said Evans was a religious man with “a heart of gold” who was engaged to be married.

A second employee who had worked at the same store for nine years, 48-year-old Phillip Thomas, died on March 29.

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