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Lawsuits & Litigation

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If a restaurant makes you sick, be sure you know its legal name

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Restaurants usually have names that are easy for people to remember, but victims of foodborne illness often find legal names of restaurants can be elusive. Restaurant franchises are often passed from limited partnerships to individuals or corporations and back again. Take the Pizza Ranch in Lincoln, NE. It was the center a year ago of nine-state… Continue Reading

When food safety crisis hit, Perdue had to prepare for next one

Former Gov. Sonny Purdue is president-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of agriculture.

This century’s most deadly outbreak of foodborne illness came out of the state of Georgia while secretary of agriculture nominee Sonny Perdue was governor, and there was not much he could do about it. After King Nut peanut butter made by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) was implicated in the deadly nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium, investigators from… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court asked to review DeCoster v. U.S.

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A writ of certiorari has been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, requesting the high court review DeCoster v. United States. The government has until Feb. 15 to respond the writ. Appellate attorney Peter D. Keisler asks in the writ that the Supreme Court consider the case because a ruling by the 8th U.S. District Circuit… Continue Reading

Mother, son sue eatery for Thanksgiving dinner food poisoning

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A mother and her son who were among the 260 people sickened by bacteria-contaminated food served by the Golden Ponds Restaurant & Party House are suing for their injuries and damages. Attorneys Paul V. Nunes of Rochester, NY, and Bill Marler of Seattle filed the lawsuit on behalf of plaintiffs Natalie Woods and her son Connor Wynn… Continue Reading

Idaho squares off with animal rights group before 9th Circuit

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Oral arguments are expected to be scheduled in April in Seattle in an “ag-gag” appeal that has pitted Idaho officials against the Animal Legal Defense Fund in a constitutional battle. The case, Animal Legal Defense Fund et al v. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence G. Wasden, landed in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after U.S. District Court Judge… Continue Reading

Parnell-Wilkerson appeal sends feds scrambling for more time

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While he is not conceding anything to the appellants, the attorney who’s been assigned to represent the government on the Peanut Corporation of America criminal appeals says he needs more time. John-Alex Romano, the attorney from the Department of Justice’s appellate section for the criminal division, has asked for 60 additional days to prepare and… Continue Reading

Egg men get extra time to file for review with Supreme Court

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Justice Samuel Alito has extended the filing deadline for a petition for a writ of certiorari in the appeal of jail sentences for one-time egg producers Austin (Jack) DeCoster and his son Peter DeCoster. Alito set Jan. 10, 2017, as the new deadline for the DeCoster’s attorney, Peter D. Keisler, to file the writ with the… Continue Reading

Biggest criminal fine ever in food safety case; zip for restitution

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Leo A. Knowles, president of ConAgra Grocery Products Company LLC, appeared in federal court in Albany, GA, Tuesday to put a human face on the corporate entity pleading guilty to a criminal misdemeanor charge of shipping peanut butter contaminated with salmonella, causing a nationwide outbreak a decade ago. The plea, part of a bargain struck… Continue Reading

Top food safety prosecutor continues accountability approach

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The Justice Department’s top food safety prosecutor says the year-old “Yates Memo,” about holding individuals at corporations accountable, is “still evolving.” In remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday at the Food and Drug Law Institute’s Enforcement, Litigation and Compliance Conference, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer said  “the memo’s changes in emphasis are yet to… Continue Reading

Another tomato grower loses claim regarding 2008 outbreak

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The U.S. Court of Federal Claims two years ago ruled that food safety warnings are not “regulatory takings” by the government, and, therefore, Uncle Sam does not have to compensate tomato growers who lost money when the public was told tomatoes might have been responsible for a 2008 Salmonella outbreak. Now the 4th U.S. Circuit… Continue Reading