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

Tyson to Petition SCOTUS Over COVID Claims


Tyson Foods Inc will petition the Supreme Court of the U.S.  (SCOTUS) for a ruling as to whether the company was absolved of liability for cases of COVID in plants. Tyson operated under the terms of the Presidential Executive Order of April 28th 2020 invoking the Defense Procurement Act. This obliged packers and poultry processors to continue operation despite ongoing cases of COVID among workers. 


Four employees of Tyson Foods died from COVID in Iowa hog plants.  Subsequent lawsuits alleging negligence were filed in state courts and subsequently in Federal courts.  Lower courts ruled that Tyson Foods acted under the Federal Order, although the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals referred cases back to state courts claiming lack of Federal jurisdiction.


There is no certainty that SCOTUS will grant certiorari and respond to the petition that will have implications for operators of beef and hog plants.  It is a matter of record that there were relatively few cases of COVID among workers at poultry processing plants compared to red meat facilities.

Copyright © 2022 Simon M. Shane