The owner of Henry’s Turkey Service says he won’t pay the $240 million awarded to 32 of his disabled workers and said the government’s witnesses “terribly exaggerated” their living conditions in Atalissa, Iowa.
Kenneth Henry, 72, left U.S. District Court, Davenport, on Wednesday, with the assistance of a walker, saying he’ll appeal what he called an “unfair” verdict.
“Do you think I can write a check for that?” Henry said.
He said there’s nothing left of his company, with his wife, Gay Henry, adding, “It’s just me and him.”
Henry’s Turkey Service still exists as a corporation based in Goldthwaite, Texas. It also has done business as Hill Country Farms, and lawyers at the trial referred to it by both names.
“We’re all old, and we quit,” Henry said of the company, adding that he has suffered five heart attacks.
He said his poor health that he testified to Monday "made no difference" with the jury.
As his health kept him in Texas in 2008, he said he sent a supervisor named Warren Davis to begin shutting down the Iowa operation and close the bunkhouse after more than 30 years. He added that Davis lived in the bunkhouse with the disabled workers until the end and would have told him about any infestations or mold problems that were pointed out in testimony.
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He sent Jane Ann Johnson, wife of the late owner T.H. Johnson, to Iowa to have a send-off party for the men in February 2009.
The next day, Iowa authorities raided the bunkhouse and the state fire marshal ordered it shut down.
Henry said that at any point in the 30 years the men lived in the bunkhouse, their families could have visited them or taken them home.
“I have to believe you would feel a little guilty about that, or a lot guilty about that,” Henry said to the families of the disabled workers.