(Reuters) – US meat and poultry processor Tyson Foods Inc. was sued on Tuesday for alleged fraud to shareholders with misleading revelations about its ability to combat the spread of coronavirus in its facilities.
The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed in Brooklyn federal court by Mingxue Guo, who lives in Canada, seeking unspecified damages for Tyson's shareholders from March 13 to December 15, 2020.
This was followed by a letter from New York City on December 15th. Comptroller Scott Stringer to the US Securities and Exchange Commission asked the regulator to investigate Tyson's investor health and safety information, which includes New York City's $ 229 billion.
Tyson's share price fell 2.2% on December 1
Tyson's spokesman Gary Mickelson defended the company's handling of the pandemic and said it had spent more than $ 500 million in employee safety, including coronavirus tests on thousands of workers per week.
"Our highest priority will always be the health and safety of our people," said Mickelson.
Mr Stringer's letter to the SEC cited reports that Tyson had more than three times as many COVID-19 cases – 11 087 on December 3 – and twice as many deaths as any other meat packaging company.
Tyson had approximately 139,000 employees as of December 14 and is headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas.
Other respondents to the lawsuit include Tyson's CEO Dean Banks, his predecessor and current Vice President Noel White and Chief Financial Officer Stewart Glendinning.
The case is Guo v. Tyson Foods Inc et al U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York. ]