Two Pilgrim’s Pride plant workers have sued the poultry processor in federal court, claiming that their spouses died from COVID infections that originated in the plant.
The complaint, filed April 21 in federal court for the eastern district of Texas, alleges that the fatal infections were contracted at the Pilgrim’s plant in Mt. Pleasant, about 115 miles east of Dallas. A male and a female worker allege that their spouses caught ultimately fatal cases of COVID from them after they became infected at the plant.
The complaint alleges that Pilgrim’s Pride knew that the situation was dangerous but did nothing to warn workers, and that working conditions were conducive to the virus’s spread.
“The frenzied pace and grueling physical demands of breaking down so many animals can make people breathe hard and make it difficult for them to keep masks properly positioned on their faces and clean,” the complaint says.
Pilgrim’s Pride is majority-owned by JBS SA, which has experienced 18 COVID-related employee deaths, according to the Food & Environment Reporting Network.