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Tyson Foods appeals order sending COVID-19 death suit back to state court

Tyson was sued by at least five other families of deceased workers in the Iowa meatpacking community and has since fired plant management in the Waterloo facility.

SPRINGDALE, Arkansas — Tyson Foods is appealing an order by Judge Linda Reade of the U.S. District Court of Northern District of Iowa. 

Reade’s order sends the ongoing negligence lawsuit filed by the family of Isido Fernandez, a former Tyson employee who died in April from COVID-19, back to state court.

Gary Mickelson, a spokesman for Tyson Foods, said the company had no comment on the matter.

The Fernandez family sued Tyson Foods in August after their loved one died on April 26, after contracting the COVID-19 virus that engulfed the Waterloo community and Tyson’s pork packing plants in Iowa. 

Fernandez was one of more than 1,000 positive COVID cases in the community, many of which worked at Tyson Foods.

In August, Tyson requested the case be heard in federal court as the company was ordered to keep meat plants open by an executive order from President Donald Trump issued in late April. 

The executive order also provided some liability protection for companies that stayed open and followed the protocol handed down from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies.

To read more of this story, visit our partner in content, Talk Business & Politics.