Legal Issues

Settlement Reached in Federal Lawsuit Over 2018 Meat Plant Immigration Raid

March 1, 2023
Approximately 100 Hispanic workers claimed they were illegally targeted in the class-action lawsuit.

A federal judge has approved a settlement of $1.175 million to workers of the Southeastern Provision LLC meat processing plant in east Tennessee, a settlement that had been reached in October 2022. The lawsuit challenged an April 2018 immigration raid by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a class-action lawsuit.

The settlement provides over $1 million to workers detained in the raid, which was, at the time, the largest workplace raid in nearly a decade. The lawsuit claimed federal agents illegally targeted the Hispanic workers for detention, excessive force and false arrest. Approximately 100 workers were included in the class-action lawsuit.

Under the $1.175 million settlement, class members will receive a total of $550,000 and, upon request, a letter from ICE confirming their membership in the class that can be included in any applications for immigration relief. The settlement also requires the United States to pay federal tort claims fees as well as attorneys’ fees and expenses for the plaintiffs.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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