A Shelby County man’s personal injury lawsuit accuses Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation of practices that ultimately resulted in the partial amputation of his finger.
In the suit filed April 14 in Marshall federal court, Center resident Jamaal Berry explains that he injured the digit in question while hanging live chickens from a conveyer of rapidly moving hooks on May 27, 2015.
“The plaintiff was forced to lift and hang approximately twenty-two live chickens per minute on the hooks,” the complaint says.
“While the plaintiff was performing his duties of hanging live chickens on the hooks, the plaintiff’s finger was injured on the stirrup used to hang the chicken, causing it to swell up.”
Berry’s foreman reportedly instructed the complainant to treat the injury by poking it with a needle and then soaking it in peroxide when he got home.
Court papers say the plaintiff’s finger, however, “was swollen even worse” the next day, claiming proper medical attention was still not rendered.
Berry further shows that he spent about six weeks in the hospital for a “severe bacterial infection/occupational disease.” According to the suit, he returned to work under doctor’s orders not to handle live foul, but the defendant had him return to the chicken line.
The plaintiff allegedly suffered the same infection and was required to undergo the partial amputation of his finger.
“The partial amputation of his finger rendered him unable to hang chickens and forced him to obtain a lower paying job elsewhere,” the suit says.
“The plaintiff will never be able to return to his prior position, in light of his amputation.”
Consequently, Berry seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.
He is represented by attorney Stephen C. Mahaffey of the law firm Mahaffey & Mahaffey, P.C. in Carthage.
Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case No. 2:16-CV-0409