Number of lawsuits and peanut products recalled continues to climb - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/10/09

Number of lawsuits and peanut products recalled continues to climb

As of March 2009, the number of peanut related products recalled by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in excess of three thousand. Products recalled may contain peanuts or peanut products that were contaminated with salmonella typhimurium bacteria at the Blakeley, Georgia or the Plainview, Texas Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) peanut processing plants.

PCA filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last month amid growing fallout from an outbreak, which was sickened more than 650 people, may have caused nine deaths, and led to one of the largest product recalls in U.S. history.

Given that dozens of products continue to be added on nearly a daily basis, Federal and State public officials are recommending that consumers check the list of recalled products regularly, (click here).

Osage Pecan Company of Butler, MO is recalling all Raw Spanish Peanuts and Roasted and Salted Spanish Peanuts sold under the label Osage Pecan Company in 1 pound packages and 30 pound cases between the dates of September 22nd, 2008 and February 1st, 2009. These peanuts were produced at Peanut Corporation of America in Plainview.

Osage is issuing this recall as a precautionary safety action. No illnesses have been reported.

Meanwhile, sickened consumers who sued the peanut processor could have trouble recovering damages from company accounts because assets listed in a bankruptcy filing will likely go to other businesses that bought its products.

Peanut Corp. of America filed documents listing nearly $11.4 million in assets and debts of $4.8 million in U.S. Bankruptcy court. However, more than $7 million listed as assets was in insurance that covers the company's products and will not be used for claims by consumers. Among the uses for that money would be compensating businesses that bought PCA's products that were recalled.

Bill Marler is a Seattle lawyer who has filed several suits against PCA. He says he expects his clients to be paid through the company's personal injury insurance policy, which is separate from the assets tied to the product insurance.

Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. has asked for a ruling on whether its $12 million personal injury coverage of Peanut Corp. includes salmonella claims. Hartford has argued that Peanut Corp.'s actions may have negated its insurance coverage.

get more>> Web Enhanced 2/11/09
Timeline of events in salmonella outbreak
A timeline of important events in the salmonella outbreak linked to tainted peanuts at a Blakely, GA plant.

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