DES MOINES, IOWA — A former IBP inc. slaughterhouse worker should receive disability benefits after he contracted brucellosis from hogs, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled on July 10. The court ruled brucellosis is an occupational injury and not an occupational disease. The decision overturns a Polk County District Court ruling denying benefits to Lee Burress, according to The Associated Press.
Mr. Burress worked at an IBP inc. plant from 1987 to 1997. In 2003 he was diagnosed with brucellosis, which he contracted from coming into contact with hog blood while working at the plant.
A district court judge reversed a workers compensation commissioner who awarded full and permanent benefits for Mr. Burress. The district court ruled brucellosis was an occupational disease and not eligible for benefits. However, the Supreme Court disagreed and ruled Mr. Burress is entitled to the benefits.