Appeals court overturns Tyson judgment

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ST. LOUIS – A federal appeals court reversed a $23.73 million damage award stemming from two class action lawsuits against Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale, Ark.

Workers at the company’s processing plants in Dakota City and Madison, Neb., sued Tyson Foods on claims the company didn’t pay thousands of hourly workers for the 30 minutes they spent donning and doffing uniforms and safety gear, and other duties.

Judge Steven Colloton, writing for the three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, found there was insufficient evidence of an agreement by Tyson Foods to pay wages sought by Madison plant workers, and no evidence of an agreement with workers at the Dakota City plant, according to published reports. The court overturned $18.77 million in damages awarded to workers at the Madison plant, and also threw out a judgment of $4.96 million awarded to workers at the Dakota City plant following a jury trial.

The ruling overturns two lower court decisions ordering the damage awards.
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