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Second lawsuit filed against Russell’s for alleged COVID-19 violations

A second former employee has filed a lawsuit against Russell’s Steaks, Chops, and More and Salvatore’s Grand Hotel for alleged COVID violations.
Credit: WGRZ

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A second lawsuit has been filed against Russell’s Steaks, Chops, and More and Salvatore’s Grand Hotel for alleged COVID violations.

According to the Coppola law firm, which is representing plaintiffs in both lawsuits, they claim a former bartender, Lindsay McKay, allegedly saw "violation after violation of COVID-19 rules and safety guidelines."

The complaint states that Russells' allegedly forced an employee who was COVID positive to come to work while sick, required employees who traveled out of state to a Bills' game to work before quarantining and refused using disposable paper products. 

When McKay reported the alleged violations to the Health Department, she claims she was fired. 

 “After we filed the first lawsuit against Russell’s, our phones started ringing.  Russell’s conduct just keeps getting worse.  Some employees were too afraid to come forward, so they asked Lindsay to make reports to the Health Department for them.  She did – and it turns out her co-workers were right to be afraid,” Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. said in a released statement. “We applaud our clients for speaking out.  They put public safety above their own financial stability.  Russell’s, Salvatore’s and Jerge’s conduct was unacceptable and dangerous to their employees and the public.  Like our clients, we take COVID-19 very seriously, and we will fight for those trying to keep themselves and the public safe.”

Owner Russell Salvatore and his business partner Mark Jerge are also being sued by a former employee of Russell's Steaks, Chops, and More and Salvatore's Grand Hotel.

Former head of maintenance Daniel Armstrong alleges that the two owners committed COVID-19 violations and that bringing them up to ownership resulted in his termination.

According to that complaint, Armstrong learned that Jerge had tested positive for COVID-19 in late December. Armstrong says he asked Jerge to leave the property to protect staff and guests, but Jerge was unwilling.  Jerge says the restaurant was closed. 

Armstrong later left work and filed for full unemployment, planning to return to work on-site once Jerge and all staff had tested negative.

Once he returned to work two weeks later, Human Resources told Armstrong that his health insurance coverage had been canceled. 

The lawsuit says Salvatore then confronted Armstrong on February 2, 2021, complaining that Armstrong was stealing company time by visiting the reception desk and taking half-hour coffee breaks.

2 On Your Side reached out to the restaurant for a statement. 


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