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Lawsuits & Litigation

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Publisher’s Platform: A Stiff, Cold Wind


Marler and Parnell at congressional hearing

A week ago last Monday, I was sitting in a bar in the Boston airport across the gate from my delayed flight (I would eventually get home a day late) monitoring tweets and texts for the outcome of the sentencing of Stewart Parnell, his brother Michael Parnell, and their “food safety” director Mary Wilkerson, which… Continue Reading

Stewart Parnell Could Be Sent to ‘Crown Jewel’ of the Federal Prison System


When Bernie Madoff of Ponzi scheme fame was sent to prison for life in 2009, he drew an assignment to the Butner Federal Correctional Complex about 45 minutes northeast of Durham, NC. At the time, the press called Butner the “crown jewel” of the federal prison system. Judge W. Louis Sands, who sentenced Stewart Parnell to… Continue Reading

Last Two PCA Sentences Are In: Kilgore Gets 6 Years; Lightsey, 3


The final two sentences have been handed down in the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) criminal case. Former plant managers Samuel Lightsey and Daniel Kilgore were sentenced on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, to three and six years in federal prison, respectively, by U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands. Both Lightsey and Kilgore became government… Continue Reading

Wyoming Data Trespass Laws Challenged in Federal Court


A federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday against the State of Wyoming by activist groups over recently enacted data trespass laws in the Cowboy State. State data trespass laws make it illegal to collect resource data on private lands for the purpose of sharing it with the government. The plaintiffs say the laws they are concerned about “are… Continue Reading

Last Two PCA Defendants to be Sentenced Tomorrow in Georgia


Sentencing hearings scheduled in federal court tomorrow in Albany, GA, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET will all but conclude the trial court’s work in the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) criminal case. To be sentenced on Thursday are the two PCA managers at Blakely, GA, who made deals with the government to become… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Parnell Crossed a Long-Existing Line



Since the sentencing of the Peanut Corporation of America criminal cases, some may be wondering if anything has really changed. The longest prison sentences ever handed out for food safety violations would, on the surface, appear to be a new bright line for food manufacturers. But, on closer look, maybe not. Food manufacturers have long… Continue Reading

Praise for an Unlikely ‘Whistleblower’


PCA plant in Plainview, TX

Kenneth Kendrick, missing Monday from the federal courthouse in Albany, GA, did not hear the praise that came from a witness during a pivotal day in the world of food safety. Kendrick is a former assistant plant manager of the Plainview, Texas, peanut processing facility once owned by the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America (PCA)…. Continue Reading

Government Wants to be Able to Jail Egg Executives for Food Safety Violations


Just after the federal government put a former food industry CEO in prison for the longest term ever handed down for a food safety-related crime, a top official in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed arguments to make jail time for such executives more routine. Benjamin C. Mizer, principal deputy assistant attorney general of the United States,… Continue Reading

German Egg Farmer Arrested in Fatal UK Salmonella Outbreak


A German egg farmer whose contaminated eggs caused a Salmonella outbreak at a hospital in Birmingham, England, has reportedly been arrested in connection with the death of an Austrian man. Five patients died at Heartlands Hospital in the Bordesley Green area of Birmingham, and the bacteria were traced back to eggs from the Bayern Ei (Bavarian Egg)… Continue Reading

Judge Rejects Motions From PCA Defendants for Release Pending Their Appeals


Motions by Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, and Mary Wilkerson to be released from their prison terms while they appeal their convictions and sentences have all been denied by U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands. On Monday, Sept. 21, Sands sentenced 61-year-old Stewart Parnell, former chief executive officer of the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), to… Continue Reading