Fast Food Nation

The few who win in court and receive full benefits

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Unformatted text preview: t caught.”’ A lawsuit filed in May of 1998 suggests that little has changed since IBP was caught keeping two sets of injury logs more than a decade ago. Michael D. Ferrell, a former vice president at IBP, contends that the real blame for the high injury rate at the company lies not with the workers, supervisors, nurses, safety directors, or plant managers, but with IBP’s top executives. Ferrell had ample opportunity to observe their decision-making process. Among other duties, he was in charge of the health and safety programs at IBP. When Ferrell accepted the job in 1991, after many years as an industrial engineer at other firms, he believed that IBP’s desire to improve worker safety was sincere. According to his legal complaint, Ferrell later discovered that IBP’s safety records were routinely falsified and that the company cared more about production than anything else. Ferrell was fired by IBP in 1997, not long after a series of safety problems at a slaughterhouse in Palestine, Texas. The circumstances surrounding his firing are at the heart of the lawsuit. On December 4, 1996, an...
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