According to Bankruptcy filings, Peanut Corporation of America has nearly $11.4 million in assets and debts of $4.8 million. The only real estate listed in the documents was the company’s plant in Blakely, Georgia. It was valued at $2 million, with a $1 million lien. The company also listed $2 million worth of equipment at the plant. $7 million of the "assets" are two insurance policies – one from Hartford and one from AIG. These policies are apart for the $12 million Hartford policy for the personal injury victims that is not an asset of the Bankruptcy.
However, the consumers who filed lawsuits aren’t necessarily out of luck, said a Seattle lawyer who has filed several suits against Peanut Corp. Attorney Bill Marler said he expects his 85 clients to be paid through the company’s personal injury insurance policy, which is separate from the assets tied to the product insurance.
Marler said he expects claims on behalf of those who were sickened to be paid. "The personal injury cases will not be shunted aside," he said.
Marler is hopeful that a mediation process can be worked out to compensate individuals, but said even then the insurance money may not be enough to cover all the losses.
Marler and other food safety lawyers have also lawsuits against Solon, Ohio-based King Nut Co. and Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg Co., which they say used the tainted ingredients in their products. Marler also has sued Peanut Corp.’s president, Stewart Parnell.
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