(Reuters) – A court has ordered JBS SA to pay 20 million reais ($ 3.62 million) in damages following an outbreak of COVID-19 at a beef factory in northern Brazil, according to a copy of the Reuters ruling on Friday .
The damages decision was related to the workers' pollution in São Miguel do Guaporé, where JBS is the city's largest employer. It marks the first victory for the plaintiffs since workers' prosecutors began suing the company last year due to a lack of adequate health records, labor prosecutor Priscila Schvarcz told Reuters. to force the world's largest meat packers to implement stricter protection for workers in several establishments.
The JBS facility in São Miguel do Guaporé was the main source of contamination and spread of the virus there, a local judge said when he ordered the facility to be closed last.
In a decision dated 1
JBS declined to say whether it would appeal, saying it did not comment on ongoing disputes, adding that its "main objective is to protect the health and safety of its 135,000 workers in Brazil."
Labor prosecutor Helena Romera said that in such types of trials, damages are reimbursed to society. In this case, it can be used to buy health equipment to fight the pandemic. But JBS can still appeal, she noted.
Outbreaks affected at least 23 JBS facilities in seven states in Brazil last year, helping to drive the pandemic in South America's largest country.
The nation has the world's second deadliest outbreak. behind the United States, with over 287,000 deaths and 11.7 million confirmed cases.
More insurance and work compensation news about the coronavirus crisis here .