Oscar Fernandez was exposed to the coronavirus at the Iowa meatpacking facility where he worked, and he died a few weeks later. His survivors later filed a suit in Iowa state court against the company that operated the plant, claiming that it violated Iowa tort law. The defendant removed the action to federal court, claiming that the company was acting “at the direction of a federal officer.”
Public Citizen filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff’s motion to remand the action to state court. The brief explains that neither the Defense Production Act nor an executive order issued by President Trump “directed” the company to do anything, and that neither the Defense Production Act nor the executive order preempted the plaintiff’s state-law claims.