Tyson managers bet on employees catching COVID-19, according to an amended lawsuit

Waterloo, Iowa (CBS)-- In a recently filed lawsuit, a son of a former Tyson employee claims that managers at the Waterloo facility place bets on employees catching the coronavirus.

Isidro Fernandez was the former employee. He died back in April.

According to the lawsuit, the managers were negligent and had blatant disregard for worker safety. Also, in a court document, the Black Hawk County Sheriff stated how terrible to facility’s working conditions were; they “shook him to his core.”

Some court documents suggest that Tyson Food executives were lobbying federal officials in regard to COVID-19 regulations. The lawsuit also stated that managers repeatedly told employers to work and that the plant cannot shut down.

In a statement to KCCI, Tyson stated, “We’re saddened by the loss of any Tyson team member and sympathize with their families. Our top priority is the health and safety of our workers and we’ve implemented a host of protective measures at Waterloo and our other facilities that meet or exceed CDC and OSHA guidance for preventing COVID-19.”

Tyson has denied many of the claims in the lawsuit.

“We are extremely upset about the accusations involving some of the leadership at our Waterloo plant... We have suspended, without pay, the individuals allegedly involved and have retained the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP to conduct an independent investigation... If these claims are confirmed, we’ll take all measures necessary to root out and remove this disturbing behavior from our company,” Tyson stated on Thursday.

The defendants in the lawsuit include Chairman John Tyson, CEO Noel White, presidents Dean Banks and Stephen Stougger, and VP Tom Brower, as well as several managers and a safety lead.

Story Via CBS News