Dallas meatpacking plant which lost 2 workers to COVID-19 outbreak faces more than $25,000 in fines

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Quality Sausage was fined for not reporting a fatality, injury or hospitalization as a result of a work-related incident.

The video above aired in May. 

A West Dallas meatpacking plant must pay $25,000 in fines after a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility this year that led to the deaths of two people. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration found Quality Sausage did not report the fatalities. 

Two workers at Quality Sausage in West Dallas died in April after testing positive for COVID-19. Some family members say the company forced employees to keep working despite the outbreak.

The family of Hugo Dominguez filed a wrongful death lawsuit in May. He died on April 25 after he contracted COVID-19 at the plant, the lawsuit alleges.

The other worker who died was Mathias Martinez. Both men were in their 30s

Since the start of the pandemic through Oct. 29, 179 OSHA inspections across the country resulted in citations for violations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quality Sausage was fined $11,567, $11,567 and $1,928 in connection with fatalities or causalities, a U.S. Department of Labor spokesperson said. OSHA conducted three inspections that were COVID-19 related and the fines were filed in late October.

The three fines at Quality Sausage included five violations: two for not reporting a fatality, injury or hospitalization as a result of a work-related incident and one for not keeping records of fatalities or injuries.

RELATED: Quality Sausage forced employees to come to work sick, family claims in wrongful death lawsuit

Employees, including Dominguez, were made to keep coming to work even when they told supervisors they were sick, according to the wrongful death suit. Otherwise, they were told they would be laid off.

The plant “refused to take the pandemic seriously, and kept its functions as normal, taking no precautions and implementing no protocols for the safety of its workers,” even after employees reported being sick by April 8, the lawsuit claimed. 

Dominguez had a fiancée and two children.

The plant was closed for two weeks during the spring. It reopened in May with a limited production capacity and a review of operations and guidance regarding COVID-19 from OSHA and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The company also said they improved social distancing, temperature monitoring, face coverings and moving workers to remote work.

It also added 6-foot markers, Plexiglass barriers and designated supervisors to monitor social distancing, the company said in a statement.

“The health and well-being of our team members is extremely important to us,” Quality Sausage said in a statement. “Every impact of this crisis, including any illness or loss, is deeply felt and affects all of us.”


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