Details are coming out about a wrongful death lawsuit against Tyson Foods and its Waterloo, Iowa, processing plant. The suit alleges that during the initial stages of COVID-19, the company ordered employees to report to work, while supervisors privately wagered money on the number of workers who would be sickened by the virus.
The Iowa Capital Dispatch says the lawsuit alleges that Tyson Foods is guilty of a “willful and wanton disregard for workplace safety.” In a written statement this week, Tyson says it was “saddened by the loss of any Tyson team member and sympathize with their families.”
The company won’t comment on specific aspects of the suit but did say it’s “top priority is the health and safety of its workers, and they’ve implemented a host of protective measures at Waterloo and other facilities that meet or exceed CDC and OSHA guidelines for preventing COVID-19.”
At least five Waterloo plant employees have died from COVID. According to the local county health department, over 1,000 workers at the plant, or more than a third of the total workforce, contracted the virus.