Tyson Foods Looks to Dismiss Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The coronavirus has threatened people from all walks of life, to students to nursing home patients to hospital workers to factory workers. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have gotten sick by going to work, running errands and visiting with friends and family members.
So what happens when a factory worker gets sick with COVID-19? Is it the employer’s fault? In some cases, it can be, and that is what the family of a worker at Tyson Foods is alleging. His wife and three children have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Tyson for its negligence. The claim was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
The man died on April 17 after a battle with COVID-19. The man worked at the poultry processing plant in Texas for more than 20 years. His family claims that he was infected with the coronavirus at work due to Tyson Foods’ failure to protect employees from the deadly virus.
Tyson filed a dismissal motion in late July. The company refutes the claims, arguing that there is no proof that the man was infected while at work, nor is there any evidence that Tyson was negligent. Many other businesses have stayed open during the pandemic and employees have been forced to work. The situation was no different at Tyson, where employees were considered critical. Both President Trump and Texas Governor Gregg Abbott have deemed food processing facilities as essential.
Many Companies See Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Tyson isn’t the only company to be sued by family members in the wake of COVID-19 deaths. Companies such as Walmart and Royal Caribbean have seen lawsuits from grieving family members who claim that they didn’t do enough to protect employees. When a person gets sick or injured on the job, they typically go through the workers’ compensation process.
These lawsuits, however, are an attempt to bypass the system, which provides less money and fewer benefits. By filing a lawsuit, a plaintiff may be able to receive millions of dollars in compensation if they are successful. A family is only allowed to sue, though, if they can show that the employer engaged in gross negligence or willful misconduct. The legal burden for these families is high, but they strongly believe that their COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuits rise to this level because companies required employees to work without appropriate safety measures in place.
These lawsuits may soon be thrown out in court, though. Many states are passing immunity laws to protect employers. There could soon be a law at the federal level as well.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
It can be devastating when a family member suddenly dies. If someone caused your loved one’s death, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and obtain damages.
Contact the Houston wrongful death lawyers at The West Law Office, PLLC for help with your case. While we can’t bring your beloved family member back to life, a lawsuit allows you to get money and justice. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 281-347-3247 or fill out the online form.