A Valencia court has awarded 107 doctors at least €4,500 in compensation each for inadequate work protection during the early phase of the COVID pandemic in 2020.
It’s the latest legal victory in a series of cases being brought forward by the CESM medical union in the Valencian Community with lawsuits involving nearly a thousand medics filed before five courts.
Their first success was in an Alicante court last month, with awards to 154 people ranging between €5,000 and €49,000.
The cases have been brought against the Valencian Ministry of Health, who after the Alicante ruling stated that they would appeal.
A CESM statement said: “It has been proved that the level of protection provided by the defendant was insufficient to deal with the dangers of contagion to which the doctors were exposed to, despite continuing to do their job.”
“In fact, they were provided with a surgical mask for several days or at most one mask per day in the services where there was a higher risk, specifically in emergency departments.”
The court ruling published on Monday said that ‘FFP2 masks were locked up and only supplied in rare cases. The doctors did not have gloves or gowns either’.
Though pleased with the ruling, the CESM said they might appeal the sums awarded to bring it into line with the Alicante judgement.
Regional president, Ximo Puig said that the Valencian Community was ‘the first’ to obtain protective gear ‘in a very difficult market’.
He did admit that the necessary equipment was not available at the beginning of the pandemic but that ‘nobody had it in any place’.
He added that it was too soon to say whether an appeal would be made to the regional Superior Court, as in the case of the Alicante ruling.
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