I do not pretend to fully understand the secret codes of the bankruptcy lawyers and the Court. However, I have hired the same firm that helped me and my clients manage both the Chi-Chi and Topps Bankruptcies. The bottom line is that the victims must be protected from PCA’s and Mr. Parnell’s criminal acts, other business creditors (like Kellogg and King Nut) and PCA’s own insurance carrier (The Hartford) so they are able to receive full compensation and move on with their lives. We are moving to "lift the stay of bankruptcy" in the morning. Here are a few stories over the last few days:
"Given that (Peanut Corp.) is under criminal investigation, I’m not surprised they’ve gone bankrupt," said Bill Marler, a Seattle lawyer representing 47 clients who are suing the company, including relatives of two people who died after reportedly consuming peanut products tainted with salmonella.
The bankruptcy filing will slow the flood of lawsuits against the company but will not prevent individuals who have been sickened from filing claims, said Marler, who specializes in suits involving food-borne illnesses.
"It just puts everything on hold," he said, adding that he would move to lift the stay of litigation Monday so new claims against the company could be made.
Peanut Corp. carried $24 million worth of personal-liability insurance for the period of the suspected contamination, Marler noted, and those funds cannot be used to pay suppliers or other companies that have had been hit with millions in product-recall costs.
Marler said his clients are also suing King Nut and Kellogg, which used Peanut Corp. products in their own foods.
“The bankruptcy of PCA will slow the process down slightly,” said Seattle food-borne illness attorney Bill Marler, who has filed six claims against Peanut Corp.
“But the victims will be able to be compensated from either PCA’s insurance policy or Kellogg or King Nut,” which made crackers and peanut butter the plaintiffs claim sickened them with salmonella poisoning, Marler said.
Attorney Bill Marler, who represents almost 50 victims, said the bankruptcy filing would not prevent individuals who have been sickened from filing claims.‚Ä®‚Ä®Once PCA is liquidated and its insurance runs out, by law King Nut and Kellogg will be on the hook for the victim lawsuits, said Marler, who specializes in suits involving food-borne illnesses.
"Even if Peanut Corp. doesn’t have enough insurance and enough assets to cover the damages, King Nut and Kellogg will have to step up," said Bill Marler, who has filed seven lawsuits against the company and represents more than 40 possible victims.