WATERLOO, Iowa — The family of a fourth worker who died of coronavirus during an outbreak at Tyson Foods’ largest pork processing plant is suing the company over his death.
Isidro Fernandez of Waterloo, Iowa died April 26 from complications of COVID-19, leaving behind a wife and children, the lawsuit says.
Filed last week in Black Hawk County, the lawsuit is similar to one filed in June by the same lawyers on behalf of the estates of three other deceased Waterloo employees.
The lawsuits allege Tyson put employees at risk by downplaying concerns and covering up the outbreak to keep them on the job.
They allege the company failed to implement safety measures, allowed some sick and exposed employees to keep working, and falsely assured the public that the plant was safe.
Tyson has removed the first lawsuit to federal court, citing President Donald Trump’s order requiring plants to stay open in order to maintain the nation’s meat supply.
The company says the workers’ deaths are tragic but that it vigorously disputes the allegations. Tyson says that it worked during the pandemic to follow safety guildeines and has invested millions of dollars to keep workers safe.
Fernandez is at least the sixth employee at the Waterloo plant reported to have died during the outbreak, which infected 1,000 of its 2,800 workers.