PHILADELPHIA – A Pennsylvania federal judge chose not to hear a wrongful death lawsuit against JBS USA on Jan. 29 and instead sent the case back to state court.  

US District Judge R. Padova, who was presiding over the lawsuit, said that the meat processor did not meet the legal requirements to ask for a change in jurisdiction.

The lawsuit involves the family of Enock Benjamin who died of COVID-19 complications on April 3, 2020. Benjamin worked at the JBS beef production facility in Souderton, Pa.

Padova rejected the argument from JBS that since some of the COVID-19 guidelines are from federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), that this lawsuit should be held in federal court.   

The district judge also rejected the JBS argument that President Trump’s executive order placed the lawsuit in higher courts.

The entire order can be read here.