COVID-19 Wrongful Death Lawsuits Start to Surface



cbs high res 150x150 brooks schuelke

Brooks Schuelke, Esq.
Schuelke Law PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire)July 6, 2021 – Meatpacker Pilgrim’s Pride, located in Texas, is being served notice of a wrongful death action on behalf of deceased David Elijah and Elnora Brown. Court documents indicate the suit alleges the company placed profits over the safety of workers.

The allegations further assert that the company misrepresented the risks of COVID-19 infected to ensure workers would remain at the plant, and the company failed to implement other preventive measures. The suit alleges that these failures led to the death of two workers.

David Elijah’s spouse, Sybil, alleges Mr. Elijah was not told to wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) as he carried out his job as a custodian at the plant until late May or early June 2020. 

In May 2020, Mr. Elijah had a COVID-19 test at the Pilgrim plant, a day before he began showing symptoms of the virus. Mr. Elijah, who was disabled, never left home. He died May 22, 2020, four days before his wife discovered she was positive for COVID-19. Mrs. Elijah is certain her husband caught the virus from her exposure at work. More than 400 people contracted COVID-19 that traced back to the Pilgrim plant.

Court documents also indicate that thousands of workers in the freezing plant work in close quarters, sharing equipment on the same surfaces. It is alleged that the equipment and surfaces are not kept clean in compliance with government health guidelines and, the cold temperatures are a contributing factor to the higher rate of COVID-19 on the premises. In this lawsuit, the deceased’s family members allege they did not have proper protective gear, recommended barriers or sanitizing, and training stations.

“This is likely to be a bellwether case,” suggested Austin wrongful death attorney Brooks Schuelke, not involved in this case. “Cases like this are novel and a first for the legal community and it’s difficult to guess what may happen. Also, each case is different and may have a different outcome.”

Anyone who contracted COVID-19 at the Pilgrim Plant or any other business location is best to discuss their case and circumstances with an experienced personal injury attorney. 

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