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New trial ordered in lawsuit against Tyson Foods

A new trial has been ordered in a sexual discrimination lawsuit against Springdale-based Tyson Foods Inc.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A new trial has been ordered in a sexual discrimination lawsuit against Springdale-based Tyson Foods Inc.

The ruling published Wednesday by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a $600,000 judgment that Tyson was ordered to pay Retha Weems after a federal jury agreed with Weems' discrimination claim.

Tyson appealed and a three judge panel ruled that a federal judge was wrong to allow the jury to hear about a separation agreement Tyson offered Weems. The judges said the agreement prejudiced the jury against Tyson.

The agreement would have settled Weems' complaints for a portion of her salary and medical benefits if she left her job.

A Tyson spokesman told the Northwest Arkansas Times that Weems remains an employee. An attorney for Weems was unavailable for comment.


 

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