Federal appeals court orders COVID-19 case filed by Tyson by Amarillo workers to return to court

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 2:49 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2022 at 5:19 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - A federal appeals court ruled Monday the COVID-19 damage case filed by Amarillo Tyson workers should return to the court system.

Thousands of workers tested positive for COVID-19, which led to Tyson temporarily closing.

Hundreds of workers got sick and some died.

A group of 41 employees and the state of a worker who died of the virus sued Tyson, but Tyson said the plant was kept open due to an April 2020 order from President Donald Trump.

“We concluded that Tyson was not acting under direction of the federal government and that federal officer removal jurisdiction thus did not exist over claims materially identical to those at issue here,” the court said.

In June of 2021, the case was dismissed by a federal court.

The federal appeals court reinstated the civil case where the employees claimed they were put in danger of getting COVID-19 during the early stages of the pandemic.

A House subcommittee report in May said Tyson used “baseless” claims of a supply shortage to justify staying open during the most dangerous part of the pandemic.