A wrongful death lawsuit alleges managers at the Tyson Foods pork processing facility in Waterloo, Iowa, bet money on how many workers would catch the virus during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS Des Moines reported. 

"Defendant Tom Hart, the Plant Manager of the Waterloo Facility, organized a cash buy-in, winner-take-all betting pool for supervisors and managers to wager how many employees would test positive for COVID-19," the court document alleged.

The lawsuit was filed in August by the family of Isidro Fernandez, a Tyson meatpacking worker who died of COVID-19 in April. The suit claims that the facility downplayed virus concerns and covered up an internal outbreak at the facility to keep workers coming in, the Associated Press reported. 

In court documents, the plaintiffs allege that more than 1,000 workers at the plant had been sickened with the virus and five had died. In May, Black Hawk County Health Department announced that more than 1,000 people, or about a third of all workers at the plant, had either tested positive for COVID-19 or had antibodies from prior infections. 

The lawsuit also argues that during the beginning of the pandemic, low-level supervisors who had little to no training were put in charge because top-level managers wanted to avoid the plant as virus cases grew.

The lawsuit also claims that an upper-level manager explicitly said to ignore symptoms and referred to the virus as "glorified flu" that no one should worry about.

In addition, the lawsuit argues that the company rolled out a $500 bonus for employees who showed up for all scheduled shifts for three months as a means to get sick workers to keep coming in, the court documents allege.

Tyson Tyson Foods recalled five-pound bag of Tyson Fully Cooked Chicken nuggets and the 20-pound bulk packages of Spare Time Fully Cooked, Panko Chicken Nuggets, Nugget Shaped Chicken Breast Pattie Fritters with Rib Meat. Photo: Photo: Getty