Lawyers walk through Peter Pan plant - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lawyers walk through Peter Pan plant

April 9, 2007


Sylvester --  Thousands of people worldwide were sickened by Sylvester produced Peter Pan and Great Value Peanut Butter and are suing ConAgra Foods. Ten attorneys were allowed inside the plant Monday to see for themselves how salmonella bacteria ended up inside peanut butter jars.  

Lawyers, photographers, and engineers walked the roof of ConAgra Foods, photographing the roof leak believed to be the source of salmonella bacteria inside the plant. "We represent almost five thousand people across the nation and we have service members in Iraq, we have people from foreign countries, we represent about half the people that are officially counted," said Seattle attorney Bill Marler. 

At the CDC's last count, 425 people in 44 states were confirmed sickened by salmonella bacteria in Peter Pan and Great Value Peanut Butter.  Now as part if the class action lawsuits, lawyers will conduct their own tests.

"Micro-biologists, roofing experts, engineers, lots of photographers, lots of videographers, we even have a guy in there that sort of does this laser, GPS thing to figure out where the vats are in relation to the roof to various areas," Marler said. 

Attorneys will compare their information along with the FDA and ConAgra's files.  The information will help determine who has a legitimate injury claim. 

"Try to figure out in a sense who's in and who's not, who has a legitimate claim and who doesn't have a legitimate claim,"  Marler said. 

The Sylvester plant can't begin it's cleanup until attorneys get what they need.

"The whole warehouse over here is completely filled with hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jars of peanut butter that they're going to have to figure out how to destroy, I suppose." 

While attorneys have reached an agreement for the company to pay medical expenses for the uninsured sick, it's not been determined what compensation they might offer others. 

Marler expects to have his investigators back inside the plant again on Friday.

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