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Illegal immigrant lawsuit against Tyson thrown out

Illegal immigrant lawsuit against Tyson thrown out
CHATTANOOGA (AP) — A federal judge threw out a long-running lawsuit that accused Tyson Foods Inc., the world’s largest meat producer, of hiring illegal immigrants to depress wages.
U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier in a Wednesday order granted the Springdale, Ark.-based company’s motion for a summary judgment in the 2002 damage suit.
An attorney for Tyson, Roger Dickson of Chattanooga, said in a telephone interview that the company was happy with the ruling. He declined comment about any possible implications for other businesses that might face similar claims.
The attorney for four employees who sued, Howard Foster of Chicago, said when contacted by phone Wednesday that he did not have time to comment.
The lawsuit by Birda Trollinger, Robert Martinez, Tabetha Edding and Doris Jewell sought compensation, contending the company violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by knowingly hiring illegal immigrants who were willing to work for wages below those acceptable to Americans.
The judge’s order said “plaintiffs failed to demonstrate Tyson was harboring or concealing illegal aliens” at its plants in Shelbyville; Ashland, Gadsden and Heflin in Alabama; Center, Texas; Glen Allen, Va.; and Sedalia, Mo. The order said plaintiffs provided evidence that could have been presented to a jury to show Tyson was concealing unauthorized employees at its Corydon, Ind., facility but failed to show that Tyson’s violations “caused their injuries.”
Published in The Messenger 2.15.08

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