A worker at Quality Pork Processing Plant in Austin has filed a lawsuit against the company demanding workers' compensation.
Susan Kruse is one of 13 workers who developed a neurological disease after exposure to vaporized pig brains. Kruse and the other workers used pressurized air hoses to pulverize the brains for food processing.
Kruse's lawyer Ray Peterson said Kruse has been off work for months, and QPP has denied her workers' compensation.
"In this particular case, given the expenses that these people are running up with their medical treatment alone, without the work comp coverage they can't afford it," Peterson said.
Workers' compensation covers co-pays and rehabilitation, whereas short term disability does not.
The denial was automatic, according to Quality Pork Processing Plant President Wadding said. The insurance company wanted more information on all of the affected workers, and they are collecting those details, he said.
"Several of them have had the enough information gathered and they've taken depositions to make a determination that it will be covered under worker's compensation. Susan Kruse is in that process right now. They haven't finished gathering information on this particular case."
Wadding said five to eight other workers already have been approved for workers' comp.
The Minnesota Department of Health's investigation into what caused the disease isn't complete, but the department is focusing exclusively on the pig brains.