$2.89 MILLION DOLLAR VERDICT AGAINST TYSON FOODS – UNPAID WAGES, FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT, UNPAID OVERTIME
On September 26, 2011, a Iowa Federal Jury awarded a verdict of $2.89 million to Plaintiffs in the case Peg Bouaphakeo, et al. v. Tyson Foods, Inc., (Case 5:07-cv-04009-JAJ), a collective action brought on behalf of approximately 3,344 production line employees against Tyson Foods, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. The jury determined that Plaintiffs, who first brought the lawsuit in 2007, had proven that the time spent donning and doffing hard hats, work boots, hair nets, frocks, aprons, gloves, whites and ear plugs is “work” within the meaning of the Fair Labor Standards Act and that the Plaintiffs were entitled to compensation for the donning and doffing (putting on and taking offing) activities.
Wiggins, Childs, Quinn, & Pantazis LLC, (hereinafter “WCQP”), along with Michael Hamilton of Provost Umphrey, LLP; Roger Doolittle; Brian P. McCafferty of Kenney McCafferty; and Jay Smith of Smith & McElwain tried the two-week trial in September 2011. Presently, pending before the Court is a Plaintiff’s Motion to include Liquidated Damages in the Final Judgment, meaning doubling the jury’s award of backpay to a total judgment of $5,785,757.40.