Hefty fines handed down in turkey workers’ case USA

By Lisa M. Keefe on 3 May 2013

A jury in the case against the now-defunct Henry’s Turkey Service has decided that the Texas company should pay 32 mentally disabled former workers $7.5 million each in compensatory and punitive damages, court papers said.

Goldthwaite, Texas-based Henry’s has gone out of business since the workers were discovered living in substandard housing in 2009, being paid a fraction of the minimum wage for the work they did for Henry’s under contract to West Liberty Foods.

Several lawsuits have ended in fines for the company.

This latest suit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission based on allegations of 30-plus years of abuse the agency said the men were subjected to.

While the workers are unlikely ever to recover anything close to $7.5 million each, the EEOC has indicated it would seek to recover company assets that might add up to $4 million total.