Friday, January 30, 2009
Punitive claims added to peanut butter suit in light of FDA report
The law firm that filed the first lawsuit tied to the recent salmonella outbreak in certain brands of peanut butter has added claims for punitive damages in light of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent report concluding that the Peanut Corporation of America knowingly released a product that could have been contaminated. The case is called Meunier v. Peanut Corporation of America, No. 1:09-cv-00012 (M.D. Ga.). The FDA report, which came out this month, found that the Georgia plant shipped products that had tested positive for salmonella contamination at least 12 times in the past two years. Federal investigators also found unsanitary conditions and numerous health violations at the plant. On Wednesday, the FDA asked companies and consumers to discard every product made from the plant in the past two years. The plant produced peanut butter and peanut butter paste that was sold to companies that make cookies, cakes, ice cream and dog treats. Since last fall, at least 43 states have reported illnesses, and eight people have died.