A US jury has awarded $240m (£154m) to 32 mentally disabled men who suffered decades of abuse while working at a turkey processing company in Iowa.
Jurors in Davenport heard how the men had been kicked, verbally abused and denied toilet breaks by their employers from Henry’s Turkey Service.
One expert said the disabled workers – who were each paid only $65 per month – had been “virtually enslaved”.
The verdict is in addition to $1.3m in back wages awarded to the men in 2012.
On Wednesday, the jury determined that the now-defunct Henry’s Turkey Service had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
It said the company had created a hostile environment and discriminating conditions of employment for the men, who had learning difficulties and worked at the West Liberty plant under the company’s oversight since the 1970s.
The award gives each worker $7.5m in compensation.
The authorities say they will now seek to recover the award from the remaining assets of the liquidated firm.
The lawsuit against Henry’s Turkey Service was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
“This case moved me to great emotion because of the issue of exploitation of vulnerable populations,” EEOC attorney Robert Canino said.
“If ever there was a case where the human story needed to be told, the full story, not just financial exploitation, but the devaluation of human life that can happen under the control of an employer, it was this case.”
The abuse was only uncovered in 2009 after a relative of one of the workers tipped off state officials.
Iowa inspectors then found that the building used to house the workers was falling apart, rodent-infested and full of fire hazards.
The building was later shut down.
- I asked Akufo-Addo to forgive me for opposing Bawumia as running mate – Ama Busia
- NDC party has now become lame – Dan Abodakpi
- Second dose of Covid-19 vaccine can be taken 4 weeks after the deadline stated – GHS
- 8 more die of Covid-19, active cases now 1,334
- NDC must focus on healing the horse, not selecting a rider – Kunbour
- Doctor withdraws notice to leave health centre after Bawumia donated equipment and supplies
- 12 leading clubs confirm formation and format for breakaway Super League
- ‘A tenant may be evicted for a month’s arrears’ – Rent Control
- Tottenham sack Mourinho after 17 months
- Whether dumsor is back or not, current power outages must be resolved immediately – Prof Adei
More apprentices write COTVET exams in Bono Region
Attorney General supports my motion for appeal – Lawyer for Akuapem Poloo reveals
‘A spit in the face of football lovers’ – Uefa boss condemns European Super League plans
GRIDCo releases excess fibre capacity to CSquared for broadband distribution
Amansie West MP initiates responsible mining program
My call to duty is worship – Wendy asserts in new song
Government to switch off analogue signal soon as CDTCL takes off
Akuapem Poloo’s child is with me, he doesn’t know what is going on – Actress’ lawyer
Government assures local creditors of AirtelTigo arrangement to settle debt owed company
NASA makes history by flying a helicopter on Mars for the first time
We possess the ingenuity to oversee our economic restoration – Ofori-Atta tells staff
Herrera and Ozil among players slamming European Super League
Namibia asks gay parents to prove link to children
Film producer Alfred Agyapong ready to inject $150k into film industry
7 times Ghana has beaten Nigeria to the prize