A law firm in Houston, Texas has filed a civil lawsuit against multiple people after 13 women claim that they contracted incurable sexually-transmitted diseases from a janitor, Lucio Diaz, who is accused of urinating in employee water bottles. Diaz is charged with indecent assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (his bodily fluids containing Herpes Simplex 1 Virus) and was granted a $75,000 bond after his arrest in October 2022.
The lawsuit was initially filed on behalf of four women who worked in an east Houston office building where Diaz was a janitor and after the lawsuit was filed, nine other women who worked in the same building came forward with the same allegations and diagnoses, the law firm said. The lawsuit names the owner of the building, the building’s management company, the maintenance company, and the cleaning company that employed Diaz.
Read More: ABC13
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- What are the legal ramifications of contracting an incurable sexually transmitted disease at work? Ans: The legal ramifications of contracting an incurable sexually transmitted disease at work can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. In this particular incident, a civil lawsuit has been filed against multiple parties, including the owner of the building, the building’s management company, the maintenance company, and the cleaning company that employed the janitor accused of committing the act. In general, employees may have the right to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- How can employers prevent incidents like this from happening in the workplace? Ans: Employers can take several steps to prevent incidents like this from happening in the workplace. These may include conducting background checks on employees, implementing security measures such as surveillance cameras, providing regular training on workplace safety and security, and promptly addressing any reports of suspicious behavior. Employers should also have a zero-tolerance policy for any kind of harassment or misconduct in the workplace.
- What are the long-term health and financial implications for the victims of this incident? Ans: The long-term health and financial implications for the victims of this incident can be severe. Incurable sexually transmitted diseases can cause a lifetime of medical treatments, medication and psychological care. The victims may also experience long-term emotional and psychological trauma, which can affect their ability to work and carry out their daily activities. The financial burden of these treatments and care can also be significant.
- What is the responsibility of building management and cleaning companies when it comes to employee safety? Ans: Building management and cleaning companies have a responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of employees within their buildings. This includes taking appropriate measures to prevent incidents like this from happening, such as conducting background checks on employees, implementing security measures, and promptly addressing any reports of suspicious behavior. These companies are also responsible for ensuring that any incidents that do occur are handled appropriately and that employees are properly informed and protected.
- How can workers protect themselves from potential exposure to infectious diseases in the workplace? Ans: Workers can protect themselves from potential exposure to infectious diseases in the workplace by taking several precautions. These may include practicing good hygiene, such as washing their hands regularly and avoiding sharing personal items such as water bottles. They should also be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior to their employer or management. Employees can also be vigilant and bring their own water bottles and avoid using office dispensers.
- How common are cases of employees committing intentional acts of contamination in the workplace? Ans: Cases of employees committing intentional acts of contamination in the workplace are relatively rare, but they do occur. These types of incidents are often motivated by revenge, anger, or mental health issues. Employers should be aware of this potential risk and take steps to prevent it by conducting background checks, providing regular training on workplace safety and security, and promptly addressing any reports of suspicious behavior.
- What steps can be taken for victims of incidents like this to seek justice and compensation? Ans: Victims of incidents like this can take several steps to seek justice and compensation. These may include filing a civil lawsuit, seeking compensation through worker’s compensation, or filing a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Victims may also be able to seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They should also seek legal advice to help them navigate the process and understand their rights.
- How can workplace culture be improved to prevent incidents like this from happening? Ans: Incidents like this can be prevented by improving workplace culture and creating a safe and respectful environment for all
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