Coronavirus victim's family sues meatpacker JBS, alleging wrongful death

The family of a JBS employee says the company is liable for his death

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The family of a Pennsylvania JBS slaughterhouse employee filed a wrongful death suit on Tuesday, alleging he contracted coronavirus while working under unsafe conditions without proper personal protective equipment.

Enock Benjamin, 70, worked at a JBS beef plant in Souderton, Pennsylvania, and died of respiratory failure due to COVID-19 on April 3, according to the family.

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"During these unprecedented times, we must always remember that worker safety comes first," attorney Robert J. Mongeluzzi, whose firm is bringing the suit, said in a statement. "JBS treated workers as expendable and placed them standing shoulder-to-shoulder without basic protective equipment such as masks. JBS placed profits over safety and must be held accountable."

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FOX Business' inquiry to JBS was not immediately returned.

The suit also includes claims of negligence and fraudulent misrepresentation.

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Benjamin was Chief Steward of Local 1776, a chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

The family's lawyers say the suit is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania. In Texas, the family of a man who died of coronavirus is suing his employer Quality Sausage Co., alleging that he contracted the virus at work because the company "refused to take the pandemic seriously."

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