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Food Plant Manager Put Wagers on Number of Workers Who Get COVID
USAgNet - 11/20/2020

A federal wrongful death lawsuit alleges that a manager at a Tyson Foods plant in Iowa organized a group bet on how many meatpacking employees would contract Covid-19 just as the coronavirus began to spread widely among plant workers in late March and early April.

The suit, filed on behalf of the estate of a deceased Tyson Foods Inc. employee, Isidro Fernandez, alleges that Covid-19 was spreading widely at the Waterloo, Iowa, pork processing plant in early April when Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson visited with county health officials, reports NBC News.

Working conditions at the plant were so bad that they "shook" Thompson "to the core," according to the suit, which said that, at that time, Waterloo plant workers were crowded together and few wore face coverings.

The suit alleges that Thompson lobbied Tyson to close the plant but that it did not.

The suit also alleges that as Waterloo employees fell ill, Tyson transferred employees from another shuttered facility to Waterloo and did not properly test them beforehand, worsening the spread.

On April 22, because of the wide spread of the coronavirus among its employees, Tyson shut down the Waterloo pork processing plant at the center of the lawsuit.

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