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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
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Gruesome Accident at Tyson Chicken Plant

MARSHALL, Texas (CN) - Overhead hooks in a Tyson Foods factory caught an employee's hairpiece and dragged her down a chicken processing line by her head and neck, seriously injuring her, the woman claims in court.

Betty Josephine Stoker sued Tyson Foods in Federal Court.

Stoker's job on June 25, 2012 was to unpack frozen poultry and place it on overhead metal hooks that moved the chickens through the processing line.

She says she had never worked that job before, was not trained for it, and that pallets of boxes made the work difficult due to lack of space.

"The hook in the shackle struck plaintiff in the face and caught the hair piece plaintiff was wearing, dragging the plaintiff down the line by the head and neck," the complaint states.

"Plaintiff called out for help as she was being lifted off her feet by the overhead shackle, but for some unknown reason, no one on the floor immediately pulled the cord used to stop the movement of the overhead line in an emergency."

Stoker was taken to an emergency room with head contusions and a concussion. A doctor wrote that she had suffered "multiple hit[s with] running chicken shackles," the complaint states.

Later, she says, she was diagnosed with bulging discs in her back and stenosis after continual neck, back and shoulder pain.

Stoker says her medical bills exceed $200,000.

To top it off, she says: "Defendant did not carry a valid policy of worker's compensation insurance covering the injury to the plaintiff."

Tyson Foods records gross profits of $2.4 billion in financial year 2013, according to its 10-K Form filed with the SEC.

Tyson did not respond to a request for comment.

Stoker seeks actual and punitive damages for negligence.

She is represented by D. Scott Carlile, of Marshall.

Follow @davejourno
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