Fast Food Nation

Today a cluster of illnesses in one small town may

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Unformatted text preview: confirm nor deny any of the details. Today Kenny is in poor health. His heart is permanently damaged. His immune system seems shot. His back hurts, his ankle hurts, and every so often he coughs up blood. He is unable to work at any job. His wife, Clara — who’s half-Latina and half-Cheyenne, and looks like a younger sister of Cher’s — was working as a nursing home attendant when Kenny had the heart attack. Amid the stress of his illness, she developed a serious kidney ailment. She is unemployed and recovering from a kidney transplant. As I sat in the living room of their Greeley home, its walls decorated with paintings of wolves, Denver Broncos memorabilia, and an American flag, Kenny and Clara told me about their financial condition. After almost sixteen years on the job, Kenny did not get any pension from Monfort. The company challenged his workers’ comp claim and finally agreed — three years after the initial filing — to pay him a settlement of $35,000. Fifteen percent of that money went to Kenny’s lawyer, and the rest is long gone. Some months Kenny has to hock things to get money for...
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