A Sanderson Farms employee claimed in a lawsuit that the company fired her immediately after she received a serious work injury, breaching several federal and state laws. The complaint was filed on Friday in the Southern District of Texas.
Through the lawsuit, the plaintiff is seeking over $1 million in damages based on lost wages and inability to get a job because of her injury after her hand and arm were hurt by machinery while at work.
The filing related that the plaintiff was assigned by a supervisor at a Sanderson Farms poultry processing facility on September 30, 2020 to work in a different area of the facility using new machines designed to remove skin from chickens.
“Even after Plaintiff conveyed her discomfort and uneasiness of the new facility area, lack of any knowledge of the specific machines she was being ordered to work, Sanderson Farms refused to permit Plaintiff to work in the area she was accustomed to,” the complaint said.
Reportedly, the plaintiff sought the opinion of another manager, but was told to go to the new area. She further alleged that the area was “poorly lit” and “strange.” The plaintiff said that the conveyor belt started as she was cleaning the machine and her hand was “shoved” into the machine and her body was jerked. Although the plaintiff cried for help, she said that the area was loud and she could not be heard. Eventually she received help pulling her hand from the machine, and found that her hand and arm “were swollen and in terrible pain, weirdly numb, and she was unable to close her hand into a fist.”
The plaintiff claimed that Sanderson Farms “failed to take any responsibility for their negligence and fired Plaintiff.” Additionally, because she was injured she has not been able to find other work.
The plaintiff claimed that Sanderson Farms is liable for actions done by their employees and that it is “vicariously liable” for the allegations in the complaint. The complaint accused the defendant of not providing safety training and negligence.
The plaintiff is represented by Paranjpe Mahadass Ruemke LLP.