Sutter Healthcare Workers Seek Class Certification
EKO Law represents housekeepers and other environmental service workers at Sutter Health hospitals in California who have been exposed to a caustic cleaning agent called OxyCide. On Tuesday, January 18th, EKO Law filed a motion for class certification in the Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland.
Dozens of the workers have reported injuries or illnesses related to the chemical, but Sutter hospitals have maintained it is safe and continue working with it. Workers claim the chemical has caused irritation and burns to their skin, eyes, and respiratory systems. The case alleges that Sutter Health put profits above worker health and safety and required the use of OxyCide to reduce labor costs, ignoring their workers' complaints.
As noted in the Sacramento Bee, multiple physicians have warned against requiring workers to use the product:
Dr. Sophie Cole, a Yale University-trained internist with 30 years of experience, stated that according to data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health: “[S]afety should be a major concern for anyone using it (OxyCide) because it is corrosive to the eyes, the skin and the respiratory tract.
The chemical has also been linked to multiple cases of occupational asthma in healthcare workers and is classified as an asthmagen.
The complaint was filed in May 2020 and the motion for class certification is scheduled to be argued in March 2022. The case is Minix, et al., v. Sutter Health, et al., Case No. RG20061295