Crime, Justice and Public Safety
Tue May 14, 2013
Payout Reduced in Henry's Turkey Discrimination Case
A landmark $240 million verdict against a Texas company who employed mentally disabled workers at an Iowa turkey processing plant will be reduced to about $1.6 million because of a law capping their damages. The 32 men faced decades of verbal and physical abuse at work and at home.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Henry's Turkey Service have agreed in legal briefs that each plaintiff can recover $50,000 - compared to the $7.5 million a jury awarded them on May 1st.
Jurors found that Henry's discriminated against the men, who they hired to work at a turkey processing plant in West Liberty. The men lived in a filthy 100-year-old schoolhouse converted into a bunkhouse in Atalissa. Over a 40-year period, the company sent hundreds of men from Texas to Iowa for jobs that paid just 41 cents an hour. Attorneys for the now bankrupt company say they believe there are enough assets to cover the reduced settlement.