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Lawsuits & Litigation

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Chicago Judge Signs Injunction Against Wholesome Soy Products


Thursday’s scheduled hearing before U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel over the future of a Chicago soy products manufacturer was canceled because the judge had already signed the consent decree preventing Paul and Julia Trinh from getting back into the food business unless they comply with a long list of conditions. The federal judge for the Northern District… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: A Case Best Not Left to a Jury


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In the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, Judge Mark W. Bennett’s courtroom is on the third floor of the federal building dedicated Dec. 29, 1933, and, at the time, called Uncle Sam’s gift to Sioux City. The building is said to be ”a skillful blend of the Stripped Classical and Art… Continue Reading

Canadian Halal Processor Pleads Guilty in Tainted Meat Case


The owners of a British Columbia meat processing plant pleaded guilty Monday in the B.C. Supreme Court to one count of selling E. coli-tainted meat in 2010. Pitt Meadows Meats, now known as Meadow Valley Meats, had originally been charged with 11 counts of selling meat unfit for human consumption, a violation under Canada’s Food and Drugs Act…. Continue Reading

DeCosters Get Three Months in Jail, One Year of Probation

Judge expects them to appeal


Austin “Jack” DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, were each sentenced Monday in a Sioux City, IA, federal courtroom to three months in jail and one year of supervised probation. The sentences, handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett, came in response to guilty pleas from the DeCosters and their Quality Egg LLC… Continue Reading

Sentencing Process Resumes for PCA Defendants


Requests to put more time on the clock may not be over, but Pre-Sentence Investigation Reports (PSIRs) have now been filed for all five defendants convicted in the federal government’s case against Peanut Corporation of America, and some are under deadline for appeals. PSIRs are confidential documents prepared by Probation and Pretrial Services, a unit… Continue Reading

Owners of Chicago Sprout Business Sign Consent Degree


A soy products manufacturer that agreed to close its doors last November after Listeria contamination at its Chicago facility was associated with several illnesses last summer has accepted a consent degree outlining conditions it must follow if it ever wants to get back in business. Julia and Paul Trinh, individually and on behalf of Wholesome Soy… Continue Reading

U.S. Government Sues Wholesome Soy After Listeria Outbreak


The U.S. government has filed a lawsuit against Wholesome Soy Products of Chicago, attempting to stop the company from distributing food products after an outbreak of Listeria was linked to the company’s mung bean and soybean sprouts. Last fall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that it was collaborating with the Food and Drug… Continue Reading

Acquittal Motion Thickens Plot as PCA Post-Trial Wait Continues

More Than Six Months Have Passed Since Verdicts


A two-month break in post-trial action in the criminal prosecution of former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives ended Thursday with more than 50 pages being filed in support of an acquittal for defendant Mary Wilkerson. Wilkerson, quality control manager for the Blakely, GA, peanut processing plant that was the source of contamination in a Salmonella… Continue Reading

Seafood Company Ordered to Cease Operations


A seafood importing and processing company in Los Angeles, CA, has been ordered to cease operations until it can institute safe manufacturing practices. The permanent injunction was announced Monday by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After a 2012 recall of “improperly eviscerated” fish from the L.A. Star… Continue Reading

DeCosters Will Face Victims and Possible Jail Time at Sentencing


His sentencing in two weeks in a federal courtroom in Sioux City, IA, won’t be the first time that Austin “Jack” DeCoster has had to pay up for his legal misdeeds. DeCoster has paid millions in fines before, but in two weeks, the 79-year-old DeCoster and his 51-year-old son, Peter DeCoster, will face both possible… Continue Reading