Garcia v. Swift Beef Co.
Garcia v. Swift Beef Co. (U.S. District Court, N.D. Tex., July 7, 2021): Plaintiffs, Texas meat packing facility employees, sued several corporate employees, claiming they had been made to work during the COVID-19 pandemic despite an April 20 gubernatorial stay-at-home order, after which they contracted COVID-19. Plaintiffs argued their superiors failed to provide them with a safe work environment. Defendants removed the case to federal court, arguing that the plaintiffs’ claims were preempted by (1) the Federal Meat Inspection Act and (2) the Defense Production Act paired with an executive order issued by President Trump, which classified the company as “critical infrastructure” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, defendants claimed they, as individuals, owed no duty to plaintiffs. The court granted the removal and defendants’ motion to dismiss, agreeing that individual corporate employees do not have a duty to provide employees with a safe working environment. Read the full decision here.
View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – September 15, 2021.