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Lawsuits & Litigation

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PCA Post-Trial Events Turn Secretive, But Potential Appeal Arguments Emerge

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In the 75 weeks between the indictment and the start of the trial, and during the eight-week jury trial, the criminal cases against former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives have largely played out in public. But since the jury handed down guilty verdicts a month ago, many of the orders, motions, and documents filed… Continue Reading

Settlement Reached in GRAS Lawsuit Against FDA

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed to finalize its rule for the process of determining food substances as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). The decision is part of a settlement agreement with the Center for Food Safety (CFS), which sued the agency last February, seeking to vacate FDA’s 1997 proposed rule on GRAS. The… Continue Reading

Government Settles on Plea Deal With Rancho Yardman

Rancho Feeding Corp

Eugene D. Corda, 65, the top yardman responsible for receiving cattle and moving them for inspection and slaughter at Rancho Feeding Corporation’s slaughterhouse in Petaluma, CA, has very likely become a government witness. Under terms of a sealed plea agreement with government attorneys, Corda has now pleaded guilty to just a single count contained the… Continue Reading

Government Gets More Time to Respond to DeCoster’s No-Jail Argument

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Because the defense attorney for Austin “Jack” DeCoster has raised a “novel constitutional issue that appears to be a matter of first impression,” assistant U.S. District Attorney Peter E. Deegan Jr. has asked the judge for more time to respond. DeCoster, who is awaiting sentencing on a federal misdemeanor, claims he cannot be incarcerated or… Continue Reading

Perdue Will Remove Its ‘Humanely Raised’ Label to Settle HSUS Lawsuits

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Perdue has agreed to remove the “humanely raised” claim from the labels on its Harvestland chicken packaging. In exchange, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) will drop two class-action lawsuits filed against the company in 2010 and 2013 in which the plaintiffs argued that the claim was a misleading one. Some research suggests… Continue Reading

Defense Secret: How to Keep ‘Jack’ DeCoster Out of Jail

DeCosters

America’s former egg king is not going to jail, according to his defense attorneys from Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, D.C. Attorney Frank R. Volpe has filed a motion on behalf of Austin (Jack) DeCoster in U.S. District Court for Northern Iowa, with a mostly secret legal argument claiming that, if the 71-year-old defendant is… Continue Reading

Parnell Brothers Want New Trial

Defense claims jury considered 'extrinsic evidence'

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Stewart and Michael Parnell have joined in a motion for a new trial filed by defense attorney Thomas J. Bondurant Jr. The motion is sealed, but it references two affidavits, one by a juror and the other by Dallas Carter, a local writer. Contents of the affidavits also have not been made public, as they are… Continue Reading

PCA Defendant Asks Judge to Overturn Obstruction Conviction

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Acquitted by a jury on one count of obstruction of justice but convicted on the other, Mary Wilkerson now wants the judge to enter a not-guilty judgment on that charge, too. Wilkerson is the former quality control manager for Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). She was convicted last month after a seven-week criminal trial in… Continue Reading

Despite Ruling, Midwest Egg Producers Unlikely to Give Up California Market Without a Fight

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Even after being told last week that they don’t have standing to sue in federal court, six Midwest egg-producing states aren’t likely to give up either battery cages for their laying hens nor the big California market. Battery cages are housing systems for chickens, laying hens, and various other types of poultry production systems which… Continue Reading

Judge Dismisses Challenge to California Egg Law

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A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought against a California law prohibiting the sale of eggs from hens kept in battery cages where they can’t move around or spread their wings. Six states had challenged California’s AB 1437 in February, claiming that it violated the Commerce and Supremacy Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. The… Continue Reading