Lawsuits against meat processing plants are coming

A lawsuit of wrongful death was brought against JBS SA, the world’s biggest meat company by the family of an employee that died from coronavirus. JBS, based in Sao Paulo, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the suit. In a statement earlier this week, the U.S. unit said it was “doing everything possible to provide a safe working environment for our team members.”This might be the beginning of a lawsuit wave against meat companies after thousands of U.S. workers contracted the virus. At least 27 meatpacking workers have died in the coronavirus pandemic, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. In another lawsuit a Texas state court against Dallas-based Quality Sausage Co. earlier this week. Smithfield Foods Inc. was sued last month by employees at a rural Missouri pork-processing facility. They argued that the company hadn’t done enough to protect workers from the virus. U.S. District Judge David Gregory Kays on Tuesday declined to hear the case, saying it’s up to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, not the courts, to oversee safeguards for workers. The pandemic emphasized worker conditions at slaughterhouses, where cold, damp factories and crowded workstations make infectious diseases particularly hard to control. @

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