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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Tyson Faces COVID Lawsuit Over Fatality in Plant


The Estate of Pedro Cano, a worker in the Columbus Junction, IA. plant operated by Tyson Foods is suing for compensation for their loss.  Mr. Cano contracted COVID-19 early during the course of the epidemic, subsequently dying of the disease.  Approximately 20 workers in the plant were diagnosed with COVID-19 before the Cano case and ultimately 522 workers were identified as positive for the virus as determined in May.


The lawsuit claims negligence citing lack of decontamination and screening. Tyson maintains that plants were operated in accordance with CDC guidelines then in effect and at a time when little was known concerning the epidemiology of COVID-19.


On April 28th, the President signed an Executive Order compelling meat packing plants and poultry processing facilities to continue operating on the basis of a national emergency.  The order contained proviso that companies should follow CDC guidelines with respect to protection of workers including testing.  Tyson Foods was in fact proactive in introducing measures to prevent infection and contracted with a national medical services group to conduct testing of workers, provide education on procedures to prevent infection and to conduct health screening.


In order to successfully pursue the claim, the plaintiffs would have to demonstrate that Mr. Cano acquired the infection in the plant, that is basically impossible. 

Copyright © 2021 Simon M. Shane