Tyson Foods accused of not fully paying for work done on poultry complex in Tennessee

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/courtneyk
© GettyImages/courtneyk

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A construction company has filed a $3.5m lawsuit against Tyson Foods and the Industrial Development Board of Gibson County claiming it was shorted payments for work done at Tyson’s new poultry complex in Humboldt, Tennessee.

The lawsuit, filed in in Tennessee Western District Court on December 29, 2021 by Butler Snow on behalf of Gray Construction Inc, the primary contractor on the project, accuses Tyson of failing to fully pay for work carried out on the build of that facility, which includes a processing plant, feed mill and hatchery. 


The lawsuit claimed officials of the US poultry processing giant operated in “bad faith.” 

Gray Construction was hired in 2018 but faced a series of delays as a result of other contractors’ missteps​, the lawsuit claimed, with it also incurring costs to fix problems caused by other contractors, reads the lawsuit.

The building firm saw unforeseen expenses as a result of COVID-19 as well, including providing proper protective equipment, as per the legal document.

State support

The 375,000 square-foot Tyson plant, located within the Gibson County Industrial Park in Humboldt, opened in April 2021. The construction of the poultry complex was supported by a state economic investment package.

Tyson said, at the opening of the facility, that it would have over 1,500 employees by 2023, and that the feed mill would supply feed for about 56 local poultry farmers and produce 14,000 tons of finished feed a week when production hit full capacity.

The payroll and payments to farmers from the new operation, along with the purchase of grain and utilities, was expected to generate an annual economic benefit to the state of Tennessee of $150m, according to a company release.

A response on the lawsuit was not forthcoming from Tyson Foods ahead of publication.

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