Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Tyson Foods After Coronavirus Death
A family in Texas has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against Tyson Foods after a woman suffered a work-related injury, contracted the coronavirus and died. According to a news report in Click2Houston.com, Pwar Gay worked as a meat cutter at the Tyson meatpacking plant in Amarillo, Texas. Her family said Gay tripped, fell and injured her knee in a job-related accident. Tyson reportedly sent Gay to its company clinic where she received first aid and was sent back to work.
Treatment of Employees
The family says she was not allowed to go home to rest or seek medical attention because the company was short-staffed. A number of employees at Tyson’s Amarillo plant where Gay was working had contracted the coronavirus. The family said she did not receive personal protective equipment to prevent the spread of the virus. After working with a knee injury, Gay became sick and had difficulty breathing.
She was admitted to the hospital where she tested positive for COVID-19 and died on May 8th. So far, 4,500 Tyson employees have reportedly contracted the coronavirus and at least 18 have died. Tyson also does not buy workers’ compensation insurance for its employees, but provides them with an injury settlement program, according to the complaint.
What Does the Law Say?
As more businesses are reopening, it is important for workers to know their rights. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to establish a workplace that is “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm” to employees. To meet that standard, OSHA is advising businesses to follow guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) including instructing employees to stay 6 feet away from co-workers or customers, taking temperatures, disinfecting surfaces and providing face masks, hand sanitizers and barriers, when appropriate.
If you or a loved one has contracted coronavirus at work and are experiencing symptoms, it is important that you get prompt medical attention. Contact your primary care provider who can help you get tested. If you have questions about your rights as an employee or if you believe your employer has violated your rights, please contact an experienced California employment attorney who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and help ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses.