May 4, 2020 / 8:01 PM / 22 days ago

Smithfield pushes claim that executive order preempts lawsuit over worker safety

Smithfield Foods Inc has outlined for a federal judge numerous steps it is taking to protect workers at a Missouri plant during the coronavirus pandemic, and said a recent executive order preempts a worker advocacy group’s bid to force the company to do more.

Smithfield’s lawyers at Lathrop GPM and Hunton Andrews Kurth in a brief filed in federal court in Kansas City on Friday said the order issued by President Donald Trump last week gives the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) the final say over what steps meatpacking plants should take to prevent the spread of the virus and ensure they can remain open.

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