Tyson COVID Lawsuit Thrown Out in Texas

Sept. 24, 2021
Texas employees of Tyson Foods are precluded by state law from suing the company over COVID infections, a federal judge has ruled.

Texas employees of Tyson Foods are precluded by state law from suing the company over COVID infections, a federal judge has ruled.

Current and former Tyson employees had sued the company, alleging that they contracted COVID after being required to come to work at a plant in Carthage, Texas. But U.S. District Judge J. Campbell Barker ruled that they did not meet the evidentiary standard required by Texas’ Pandemic Liability Protection Act, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law in June.

That law requires “reliable scientific evidence” that infection occurred at a specific location. Barker ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to allege “how, when, or why they contracted COVID-19 or [account] for other possible sources of infection.”

The plaintiffs had also argued that Tyson had failed to provide them with proper protective gear. Campbell ruled that the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act, with its provisions for hygiene and protection against infectious disease, takes precedence.

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