Federal Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Tyson Foods After Employee COVID-19 Death

HOUSTON — An employee of Tyson Foods stationed at the company’s meat processing plant in Amarillo, Texas suffered a work-related injury, contracted COVID-19, and died.  The family is represented by the VB Attorneys law firm based in Houston, Texas.

A lawsuit filed in the Amarillo Division of the Northern District of Texas, (Case No. 2:20-cv-00125-z; Ka La Ya Lay, Aye Aya Lay, Tun Lah, Individually, and Tun Nee Individually and as next friend of minor child, K.M.N. and as Representatives of the Estate of Pwar Gay, Deceased Vs. Tyson Foods, Inc., alleges Pwar Gay worked as a meat cutter at the Tyson meatpacking plant in Amarillo, Texas.  According to the lawsuit, Mrs. Gay tripped and fell and injured her knee in a job-related incident.  Following the injury, Tyson sent Mrs. Gay to its company clinic, where she received first aid treatment and was sent back to work.  Mrs. Gay was not permitted to go home to rest or seek medical attention due to Tyson’s shortage in staff, according to the legal documents.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the surviving husband and four children of Mrs. Gay, alleges COVID-19 infected numerous workers at the company’s Amarillo facility where Mrs. Gay worked, and that Mrs. Gay was not provided appropriate personal protective equipment to protect her from coronavirus. After working with her knee injury, Mrs. Gay fell ill and experienced difficulty breathing, and was admitted to the hospital. Mrs. Gay tested positive for COVID-19 and died on May 8, 2020.

Mrs. Gay’s family alleges at least 4,500 Tyson employees have contracted coronavirus, and at least 18 have died. A grossly disproportionate number of Tyson employees have contracted COVID-19, and have died when compared to the general population. The suit further alleges Tyson does not buy workers compensation insurance for its employees, choosing instead to provide workers with a “rigged” injury settlement program.

Vuk S. Vujasinovic, a founding partner of VB Attorneys, said, “We look forward to fighting hard for Mrs. Gay’s family in this case, and to set a precedent that our community will not tolerate companies that prioritize profits over the safety of hard-working employees.  Mrs. Gay put in eight tough years with Tyson, and she and her family deserved much better than this.”

A copy of the file-stamped federal complaint is available by clicking here.