July 14, 2024

Stewart Parnell Sentenced to 28 Years in Prison

Former Peanut Corporation of America executive 61-year-old Stewart Parnell has been sentenced to 28 years in prison after being convicted of multiple felonies related to a deadly nationwide Salmonella outbreak. His brother, Michael Parnell, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. That outbreak killed nine people and sickened at least 714 others in 46 states and Canada. This is the most serious punishment given to a food producer in a foodborne outbreak case. Parnell was convicted of knowingly shipping contaminated product and of falsifying records and lab reports on his products. Most corporations are hit with civil lawsuits after food poisoning outbreaks. Parnell apologized to those sickened in the outbreak and to the families of those killed. Parnell did face up to 803 years in prison … [Read more...]

Revisiting the Peanut Corporation of American Salmonella Outbreak

Three executives of the former Peanut Corporation of America are to be sentenced this week for illnesses and deaths in the huge Salmonella outbreak in 2008-2009 linked to their peanut butter products. Stewart Parnell was convicted of 68 felony counts, including "conscious or reckless risk of death or serious bodily injury", conspiracy to engage in mail and wire fraud, and introduction of adulterated and misbranded food into interstate commerce with intent to defraud or mislead. His brother Michael Parnell was convicted of 30 felony counts, and Mary Wilkerson, plant manager, was found guilty of obstruction of justice. Both brothers could go to prison for the rest of their lives on these convictions, and will be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge W. Louis Sands. That deadly … [Read more...]

PCA Plant Manager Pleads Guilty in Salmonella Case

Samuel Lightsey, the former manager of a peanut butter plant linked to a Salmonella outbreak pleaded guilty to fraud and six other counts in a criminal case. In 2009, 714 people in 46 states got Salmonella poisoning from peanut butter made Peanut Corporation of America. Nine of them died. The company's owner, Stew­art Parnell, and his brother Michael Par­nell, a food broker, and the plant's quality assurance manager Mary Wilkerson were also charged. Lightsey faces a possible fine of $250,000 and 20-year prison terms for each of the seven charges. The sentencing will occur at a later date. Food Poisoning Bulletin Publisher Fred Pritzker, a food safety lawyer who represents people injured in the outbreak, said his clients feel the trial is a way for wrongdoers to be held accountable. … [Read more...]

Deadly Salmonella Outbreak: Peanut Corp. Execs Plead Not Guilty

Four former executives of the Peanut Corp. of America (PCA) have pleaded not guilty to charges in a 76-count indictment stemming from a 2009 Salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 700 people and killed nine. Stewart Parnell, the now defunct company's owner and president, Michael Parnell, a food broker;  Samuel Lightsey, a plant manager; and Mary Wilkerson a quality assurance manager entered their on Thursday in federal court in Albany, Ga.  They were released on bond. For Stewart and Michael Parnell bond was set at $100,000. For Samuel Lightsey bond was set at $50,000 and  for Mary Wilkerson bond was set at $25,000 dollars. A date for trial has not yet been set. On February 21, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted the four former executives on 76 counts charging that … [Read more...]

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