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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Dee Creek Owners Plead Guilty in E. coli Raw Milk Case

I am still in Wales, but press reports from the USA seem to creep across the “pond.”  Reading the Seattle Times online this morning it seems that Dee Creek finally got “nicked” as they say here for selling the “magical” milk.  As it said, “two owners of a small Cowlitz County farm pleaded guilty Wednesday to distribution of adulterated food in a December 2005 E. coli outbreak involving raw milk that sickened 18 people in Washington and Oregon.”

They face a maximum penalty of a year in prison and a $100,000 fine when sentenced Sept. 5 for the misdemeanor.  In their plea agreements, the couple acknowledged that: "the milk was prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health."  The agreements added that the couple "did not intend that anyone be put at risk through consumption of the milk."

However, three adults and 15 children were sickened by raw milk traced to Dee Creek’s dairy.  Three children were hospitalized with renal failure, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  We represented some of these families in an action that was resolved over a year ago.  We presently are in litigation with California’s largest raw milk producer, Organic Pastures.  Trial in 2009.  Organic Pastures has also been under a Grand Jury investigation.

  • Bob Hayles

    Actually Bill, OP is NOT under a grand jury investigation. One had been started, with subpoenas issued to two of the OP employees, but it was called off…the powers that be couldn’t coerce anyone to wear a wire, despite threats.

  • Amanda

    Bob,
    That’s the OPDC official story. In the last couple of weeks (two months after the hearings were postponed), OPDC stopped shipping “pet food” across state lines. Does it sound like the case is over?
    Amanda