On 09/15/2020 a judge delivered a major win for nurse Lauri Mazurkiewicz in her lawsuit against Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Lauri was fired by Northwestern less than twenty-four hours after she warned her coworkers that the masks the hospital distributed were ineffective at protecting against COVID-19.

Northwestern, in a formal pleading filed with the court, said that Lauri’s concern was no big deal. In a motion to dismiss, Northwestern characterized Lauri’s concern about COVID-19 as “little more than a personal gripe.” The judge disagreed with Northwestern and denied its motion to dismiss. Lauri’s lawsuit is the first litigated COVID-19 retaliation case in U.S. history.

In its ruling on Northwestern’s motion to dismiss, the court stated, “It goes without saying that Illinois has a clearly mandated public policy of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the health and safety of its citizens.” The court further stated, “Plaintiff’s email was not sheerly a private concern, but rather one that relates to the spread of COVID-19 within her hospital work environment and therefore one that has an impact on the general welfare of Illinois citizens as a whole.” As a result of the court’s ruling, Lauri’s case against Northwestern Memorial Hospital will move forward.

Lauri is being represented by attorneys of The Blake Horwitz Law Firm. The Blake Horwitz Law Firm has had many record-breaking civil rights and sex abuse cases.