A Barcelona court has recognized as an occupational disease the coronavirus infection of a worker in a nursing home. According to the Col-lectiu Ronda, which represents the employee, this is the first ruling that admits the occupational origin of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
The magistrate of the social court 3 of Barcelona upheld the lawsuit filed by the woman against the Social Security and the company Eulen, multinational company that manages the residence Bertran i Oriola de la Barceloneta and that accumulated several complaints from relatives for their management of COVID-19 in the centers.
The judge concludes that the sick leave due to COVID-19 should be considered an occupational disease and not a common disease, as initially established by Social Security.
The woman was on sick leave for COVID-19 between 29 March and 1 May 2020, and in the same nursing home there were nine positives for coronavirus in less than a week, but the mutual insurance company refused to consider her case as an occupational disease.
The judge explains that the regulations on the matter created as a result of the state of alarm was not in force when the woman fell ill, and recalls that the previous regulations already included the occupational origin of infectious diseases of “non-health personnel, workers in care centers or care of the sick”.
Given the possibility that the woman was infected outside of work, the judge remarks that “the plaintiff worked in a job with a clear exposure to the coronavirus, as well as that during a few days there were several infections of workers in the center,” and states that the company did not take sufficient preventive measures and recalls that months later was intervened by the Generalitat.