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Peanut exec faces life sentence in “unprecedented” food poisoning case

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U.S. government prosecutors have recommended a life sentence to a former peanut company owner convicted of knowingly selling and distributing a variety of peanut products contaminated with salmonella. Lawyers for both prosecution and defense say the recommended sentence of life in prison for Stewart Parnell, the 61-year-old head of Peanut Corporation of America, is “unprecedented” for a food poisoning case. Court documents show the U.S. Probation Office determined that Mr. Parnell’s crimes fell “in a life sentence Guidelines range” using sentencing calculations and guidelines. These calculations and determinations will be given to the federal judge to assist in sentencing Sept. ... Read More

Big private investment will help Blue Bell resume ice cream making

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Blue Bell Creameries said that a “significant investment” from a Texas oil billionaire will help it get back on its feet after being shuttered for months following a Listeria outbreak linked to its ice cream products. Sid Bass, a prominent Texas billionaire, invested an undisclosed amount to the privately owned ice cream manufacturer. The company said the investment would allow it to start making test batches in its factories once again. In May, Blue Bell CEO Paul Kruse told the company’s small group of investors that it required up to $125 million to recover from “a financial crisis that could ... Read More

Frozen chicken entrée recall expanded amid Salmonella concerns

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Several more frozen chicken products and brands have been added to a national recall of frozen, stuffed chicken entrees that U.S. health authorities believe is responsible for two outbreaks of Salmonella enteritidis that have sickened at least seven people, including two hospitalized patients. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first suspected the Salmonella illnesses were associated with raw, frozen, breaded, and pre-browned stuffed chicken products on July 1, when it issued a public health alert stating concerns with chicken cordon bleu and chicken kiev products sold under unspecified brand names. On July 2, Barber Foods of Portland, Maine, issued a recall of nearly ... Read More

Takata won’t set up compensation fund for airbag victims

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Japanese automotive supplier Takata said it does not plan to establish a compensation fund for people and their families injured or killed by its airbag defect, which affects about 34 million vehicles in the U.S. Earlier this month, TK Holdings Inc., Takata’s North American unit, said it would consider setting up a compensation fund much like the fund that General Motors created for those harmed by its ignition switch defect. The company was acting in response to calls from Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and other U.S. lawmakers to start such a fund. However, in an email to Sen. Blumenthal, Takata ... Read More

Fiat Chrysler recalls 88,000 cars with defective Takata airbags

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Fiat Chrysler said over the weekend it is recalling more than 88,000 vehicles that it “inadvertently excluded” from a May recall to repair defective airbags made by Japanese supplier Takata. The faulty airbags are prone to explode with deadly force and have been installed in nearly 34 million vehicles. The latest recall involves 88,436 model-year 2008-2010 Dodge Challengers manufactured between September 2007 and October 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) said in a notice. Auto safety regulators announced the recall about a month after announcing they had identified all of the vehicles equipped with the flawed Takata airbags. ... Read More

Two salmonella outbreaks linked to frozen chicken entrees

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U.S. and Minnesota health officials are investigating two outbreaks of Salmonella enteritidis sickening people who eat raw, frozen, breaded, and pre-browned stuffed chicken entrees sold under the brand name Barber Foods and Antioch Farms. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota’s Department of Health and Department of Agriculture identified two outbreaks that sickened seven people, four of whom were hospitalized. Health officials warn that the outbreak may be bigger and more widespread as most cases of food-related illness go unreported. In the first outbreak, the Minnesota Department of Health identified four people sickened by Salmonella after ... Read More

Takata airbag victims may be better served by court litigation, not compensation fund

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Takata officials are considering the feasibility of creating a compensation fund for victims of its defective airbags, which have been installed in some 34 million vehicles and can explode in the most minor of accidents, spaying vehicle occupants with metal shrapnel. The idea for such a fund comes naturally amid large-scale and costly disasters, such as General Motors’ defective ignition switch crisis and the BP oil spill, but plaintiffs’ lawyers say that such a fund may not be suitable in Takata’s case. Japan-based Takata Corp. finally agreed in May to recall about 34 million vehicles affected by the flawed airbags. ... Read More

Hundreds harmed by GM ignition switch defect barred from justice

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Ben Pillars told Bloomberg News that he always wondered why his wife’s Pontiac Grand Am veered across a Michigan highway on a winter day in 2005, putting her into the path of an oncoming Toyota minivan. The crash sent his wife into a coma from which she never emerged, and she died in March 2012, taking with her any information that could have helped solve the mystery of her accident. But Mr. Pillars found answers when General Motors announced its ignition switch recall last year, which encompassed millions of vehicles, eventually including his wife’s 2005 Grand Am. GM first recalled ... Read More

Urgent Fiat Chrysler recall issued on certain SUVS

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Although past recalls have determined certain Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles to have defects, about five dozen of these vehicles are now under “urgent recall.” Manufacturer Fiat Chrysler has instructed owners to stop driving the vehicles immediately. The urgently recalled vehicles, all from the 2015 model year, feature a flawed suspension component that may break during use, causing the driver “rear-end instability and/or reduced braking power.” The vehicles were found to be defective by a supplier conducting an internal quality review. Shortly after the discovery, Fiat Chrysler halted shipments of the new vehicles from its plant. Now that the problem has ... Read More

Senate report finds Takata paused quality checks at its airbag plants

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Takata Corporation refutes the findings of a Senate report that found the Japanese company suspended its quality control audits for two years to keep its costs down, a year after Honda announced its first safety recall of vehicles equipped with Takata’s defective airbags that were prone to explode. Senator Bill Nelson, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, released his staff report ahead of a panel hearing that called together officials from the Japanese supplier, Honda, Fiat and Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to testify on the defective airbags. Takata, a major airbag ... Read More