Family Sues Illinois Meatpacking Plant After Man’s Death from COVID-19

The family of a suburban Chicago woman who died of complications related to COVID-19 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a meatpacking plant where her husband worked and contracted the virus.

The family of Esperanza Ugalde alleges in their lawsuit that Aurora Packing Co. in North Aurora failed to take steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Aurora Beacon-News reported. They also said the company failed to warn employees after it became aware that other employees at the plant were infected.

The lawsuit filed in Kane County Circuit Court contends that Ricardo Ugalde, who was a butcher at the plant for 35 years, contracted the virus in late April and that his wife contracted it a short time later and died May 2 at the age of 67.

The company did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press but its website notes that it has “taken a proactive approach to minimize the health risk of spreading the virus.”

Meatpacking plants across the U.S. have been hit hard by the virus and the Kane County Health Department said it was called to investigate Aurora Packing. A health department spokeswoman declined to provide any details, including whether the plant was closed briefly after Ricardo Ugalde contracted the virus as the Ugalde family’s attorney contends.

This article was first published in Insurance Journal.

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