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Peanut Corporation of America

Letter From the Editor: Week Four of the PCA Trial



How should we read the tea leaves in the latest order from U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands about an issue that might impact the criminal trial of three former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) executives? We’ve been using this Sunday space to comment during the course of the federal trial on how things… Continue Reading

PCA’s Former Lawyers Aren’t Willing to Help Out Federal Prosecutors


Away from the jury in the criminal case against three former Peanut Corporations of America (PCA) executives, federal Judge W. Louis Sands is soon going to have to decide if he’s going to let government prosecutors go through documents held by PCA’s former lawyers. It’s a legal dispute brought on the eve of the trial… Continue Reading

PCA’s Former Plant Manager Cross-Examined by Defense Team


Samuel Lightsey, the former Peanut Corporation of American (PCA) plant manager with the government plea deal, spent more than six days on the witness stand answering every question put to him by prosecutors. On Tuesday, defense attorneys for the three former PCA executives on trial for a total of 71 federal felonies got their chance… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Week Three of the PCA Trial



Shortly after I relocated to Colorado for sunshine and dry snow a decade ago, I found myself swept up for jury duty. When it came time for “we, the jury” to decide whether or not the defendant was guilty as charged on several state felony counts, the court gave us “cheat sheets” to guide our… Continue Reading

In the Dark: Witness Says Kellogg’s Didn’t Know What it was Getting From PCA


Kellogg’s of Battle Creek believed it was getting what it had ordered from Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). It wanted only domestic peanuts free of Salmonella contamination, period. But each time a tanker truck with a 40,000-pound load left PCA’s Blakely, GA, peanut processing plant, Kellogg’s was getting something else entirely. The big tanker trucks were… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Week Two of the PCA Trial


About a year after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to liquidate the company, all the assets of the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) were under the control of the bankruptcy court trustee. I managed to attach myself to one of the plaintiff lawyer teams that was allowed into the PCA peanut processing plant at Blakely,… Continue Reading

Ex-PCA Plant Manager Testifies Against His Former Associates


The former Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) plant manager at Blakely, GA, told a federal criminal jury on Friday that PCA owner and chief executive Stewart Parnell ordered him to ship peanut products that tested positive for Salmonella. Samuel Lightsey also said that peanut broker Michael Parnell, Stewart Parnell’s brother, told him not to worry… Continue Reading

PCA Trial Testimony Focuses on Salmonella Testing, Investigation


Two top officials of testing laboratories used by the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) and a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official who led the investigation into the deadly Salmonella outbreak linked to the Blakely, GA, peanut processing plant offered up the first testimony in the federal trial now in its second week in… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Week One of the PCA Trial



After setting the scene last week for the criminal trial of three former executives of the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), I am beginning a series of weekly comments as the event goes forward. These are not meant to be hard opinion pieces, just some analysis and commentary offered as the products of close… Continue Reading

PCA Jury Hears About ‘Just Ship It’ Emails During Government’s Opening Statement


The long-awaited Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) trial got underway with opening statements Friday morning in Albany, GA, and it was not long before the jury learned about Stewart Parnell’s three most infamous words: “Just ship it.” That was allegedly his reply when employees wanted to know what to do when laboratory tests came back… Continue Reading