Meat Plant Sued Over Worker’s COVID-19 Death

Earlier this month, Bloomberg writer Millie Munshi reported that, “The family of a beef plant worker who died because of the coronavirus has brought a wrongful death lawsuit in a Philadelphia court against JBS SA, the world’s biggest meat company.

“Ferdinand Benjamin filed the suit on Thursday after his father, Enock Benjamin, died of respiratory failure caused by Covid-19, according to a copy of the timestamped complaint provided by Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, the law firm representing the family. Enock Benjamin worked at the JBS USA plant in Souderton, Pennsylvania.”

The Bloomberg article stated that, “The suit may be part of the beginning of a litigation wave against meat companies after thousands of U.S. workers contracted the virus. At least 27 meatpacking workers have died in the coronavirus pandemic, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.”

The article also noted that, “Smithfield Foods Inc. was sued last month by employees at a rural Missouri pork-processing facility. They argued that the company, owned by Hong Kong-based WH Group Ltd., hadn’t done enough to protect workers from the virus. U.S. District Judge David Gregory Kays on [May 5th] declined to hear the case, saying it’s up to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, not the courts, to oversee safeguards for workers.”

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