South San Francisco Limo Driver Dies of COVID

South San Francisco, CA   August 14, 2020 by Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center

OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Yesterday, Pacific Workers’ announced that they have filed a claim on behalf of the widow of Calixto Villanueva.  Villanueva died of COVID related illness on March 27, 2020 after contracting COVID through his job as a limo driver in South San Francisco.

On March 8, 2020 he was assigned to pick up Brazilian diplomats from the private terminal of the San Francisco International Airport. The Brazilian diplomats had just flown from Palm Beach, Florida to San Francisco. On March 7, 2020 they attended the U.S./Brazilian Summit with President Trump and Brazilian President Bolsonaro at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. It has been widely reported that several of the Brazilian contingent at the event tested positive for Coronavirus.  Brazilian President Bolsonaro has since tested positive for COVID-19.

Within days of the assignment, Villanueva became ill and was admitted to the I.C.U. His widow, Tita Santos, who works retail at Home Depot also fell ill. She was too weak to communicate with her dying husband during his final days. Their son, Carlos Santos (28), a financial auditor and bookkeeper was forced to move home to care for his mother.

Villanueva leaves behind his wife Tita, a son Carlos (28), and two step-sons Will (44) and Nico Santos (41). Nico Santos is an actor on the NBC Series Superstore. In 2018, Nico was nominated for a Critics Choice Television Award and is active in the LBGQT movement.

“This is an example of front-line workers getting exposed and dying because of their jobs and lack of protections,” said Bilal Kassem, the family’s attorney from Pacific Workers’.  Mr. Kassem, the Managing Attorney of Pacific Workers’ is leading the COVID/Essential Workers’ Compensation Practice at Pacific Workers’.  “We are seeing more and more people getting infected from the front lines of the pandemic,” Kassem said. “California may have set a Presumption that Essential Workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but that has already expired.”  Kassem is referring to Gov. Newsom’s Executive Order granting a presumption of benefits to essential workers if they contract COVID through their work. The presumption through the executive order expired on July 5, 2020. Although there is discussion to extend, nothing new has been passed.

“The frontline and essential workers are getting hit much harder than anyone else in our community. We must do more to protect them and their families.  This is simply a total failure of a system that is supposed to protect people,” said Kassem.

About the Company:

Pacific Workers’, The Lawyers for Injured Workers is Northern California’s Premier Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Law Firm. Pacific Workers’ represents First Responders, Health Care Workers, Construction Workers, Delivery Workers, Warehouse Workers, and the other hard-working people that keep our community moving in their Fight for Justice against the Insurance Companies.

Founded in 2014 by Eric Farber and Bilal Kassem, the firm began with just 4 people.  In just over six years, they have grown to close to over 50 team members with five offices throughout Northern California.  They are the leader in claims for front line workers, including firefighters, first responders and health care workers. They have been named to the Inc. 5000 multiple times, the Bay Area 100 (a list of fastest growing companies in the Bay Area), the Law Firm 500 and most importantly been nominated for Best Workplaces in America.  Mr. Farber is also the author of the Bestselling Book, The Case for Culture, How to Stop Being a Slave to Your Law Firm, Grow Your Practice and Actually Be Happy.  The book is the story of how a great law firm culture can help grow a practice.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Pacific Workers’ has joined the national small business No Layoff Pledge, agreeing to not lay off any team members.  On the contrary, Pacific Workers’ has hired several people for their expansion.

www.PacificWorkers.com

SOURCE Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center

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