Family seeks workers compensation payment from Tyson after Iowa man dies of COVID-19

Family seeks workers compensation payment from Tyson after Iowa man dies of COVID-19

The family of a Tyson Foods employee in Iowa who died of COVID-19 has filed a workers compensation claim against the company.

Sara Jones, wife of the late Kenneth Jones, filed the claim Wednesday, a week after his death. The claim states Kenneth Jones, of Buena Vista County, died of the disease June 3 after contracting it while working for Tyson’s meat processing facility in Storm Lake.

The company, which has reported the most coronavirus cases among employees of any business in the country, said June 2 that 591 of its 2,300 employees at the Storm Lake plant had tested positive for the virus. More than 220 cases have been reported at Tyson’s beef and pork processing plant in Council Bluffs, as well.

Kenneth “Kenny” Jones, 60, was remembered in his obituary as a loving and funny father and avid sports fan. He’d lived in Storm Lake and worked at Tyson for over 10 years, but was born in Chicago and spent two decades living in Texas as well. A memorial service was held Wednesday evening. He is survived by his wife, two children and four stepchildren.

Willis Hamilton, the attorney listed on the workers compensation claim, told the Associated Press that losing Jones was “a shock to the family.”

Also speaking to the AP, Tyson spokeswoman Liz Croston wouldn’t say how many Storm Lake employees have died after contracting the coronavirus. She said that “losing even one team member is too many.”

Tyson Foods was criticized earlier this month for reinstating punitive employee-absence policies in Iowa as coronavirus continued to spread through its meatpacking plants.

There have been at least 20,000 coronavirus cases linked to meatpacking plants across the country, according to an analysis by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. There also have been at least 74 worker deaths.

Source: Des Moines Register

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