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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Pink Slime Headed to Court?

According to KTIV TV, a “former BPI employee will file a civil lawsuit following the controversy surrounding lean, finely textured beef — or LFTB” (a.k.a. Pink Slime).  “[T]he civil suit he’ll file against a ‘national news broadcasting company,’ and other individuals involved.”  Here is the press release that propmted the story:

“PINK SLIME” Press Release

You are invited to attend:

webst9197.pngFormer Beef Products (BPI) EHS Director, Bruce Smith, will be holding a press conference on June 26, 2012, commencing at 1:30 pm at Sterling Green Estates Meeting Room, 320 Dakota Dunes Blvd., Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, to announce his filing of a civil lawsuit against a national news broadcasting company and other prominent individuals involved in the “pink slime” ground beef controversy Smith now refers to as March Meat Madness Month 2012 in his new book on the subject entitled Pink Slime Ate My Job, a soon to be released non-fiction account from an insider’s standpoint, published by Rauttnee Publishing Company. Smith is one of nearly 1,000 employees who lost their jobs after BPI was forced to close three of its four lean beef production plants following the ‘viral’ explosion of the “pink slime” news story beginning in March 2012. Copies of the lawsuit will be provided to those attending, along with an introduction to Smith’s new book about the “pink slime” saga from the insider’s viewpoint.

Contact: Lisa K. Smith, Public Relations Manager, Rauttnee Publishing Company, Phone: 605-422-0174, Email: rauttneepublishing@hotmail.com

Lawsuit or book PR move?

  • Albert M.

    A civil class action by former BPI employees whose livelihoods were destroyed by Bettina Seigel and conspicuous others who piled on to promote her intentionally malicious smear campaign seems entirely justified. I will contribute generously to a legal fund seeking restitution for those innocent families now without steady employment. Probably will have to initially bankrupt Seigel to reach into deeper pockets in the background (similar to your strategy with Jensen Farms). Not much point naming ABC except to reach smaller, more vulnerable assets of clowns like Jamie Oliver and his production companies, several syndicated columnists out there without a leg to stand on. A few million bucks now and garnishees on future earnings of Seigel and fellow slandering hatemongering columnists will be a huge uplift for those lower middle class families impacted by the frivolous media smear. A million bucks means so much more to working class families of former BPI workers than it does to affluent internet propagandists and their wealthy enablers.

  • Peter

    The Piper is headed their way, looking to get paid his just due.
    The prospect of successfully suing ABC news or the NYT seems pretty dim because they keep themselves so well barricaded. There are other culpable defendants with deep pockets. Bettina Seigel at The Lunch Tray blog initiated the smear and her family’s assets can at least start the ball rolling in the urgent business of making whole these BPI workers’ losses to lifetime earning power. Marion Nestle and her employer, New York University are prime for making a nice share of restitution. Count on NYU to settle promptly in order to avoid any court proceedings. Jamie Oliver & corporate sponsors of his pink slime TV episode should contribute to the relief of those fired workers.
    Also some of the school districts that abruptly discontinued purchasing LFTB, if they issued any sort of press release or explanation revealing their ignorance are likely subjects also. Many local school districts will settle without any fuss to make the issue go away quietly. With a little searching there should be a nice little pot of money to help those poor hard working families until the economy improves and they can find new employment.
    The emotional “pink slime” haters claim to be caring people (that’s their excuse for making such a fuss in the first place), surely out of that compassion they will do the right thing in remunerating families they caused to be thrown out of work. With all that concern for people’s welfare it is rather surprising they need to be reminded with a lawsuit. Go figure.
    It’s been a while but I will always remember what it’s like to be thrown out of work. Our company operates in 4 states and we stand ready donate repo services if it will help.

  • Paul F Schwarz

    Hey Albert M. Jensen Farms contributed to the death of my father. They practices were sloppy and resulted in sending poison to the consumer! Reading asinine statements like yours make it obvious to me that you don’t give a damn about another human being! I don’t want my hamburger treated with ammonia!
    Chew on a bone with some finely textured beef attached to it!
    Paul A Schwarz
    December 18, 2011
    Section 51 Row 1 Grave 3 Ft Leavenworth/Leavenworth National Cemetery

  • If BPI gave a shit about their employees, they would give a shit about the end users, school aged children. To stretch their profits, they have adulterated a product without true concern for the consumer. Don’t shoot the messenger. We need more watchdogs to educate the consumer so that we can make healthier choices. Treating our meat with ammonia is not the answer. Consumers have a right to know and will demand it. We are not sheep.
    Suing schools for discontinuing the use of LFTB is a blatant abuse of the legal system. That’s right, make our children pay, ultimately, that’s the answer!
    Where is the moral social responsibility?

  • Publicity stunt, and not a particularly subtle stunt, at that.

  • Just a reminder:
    Bettina Seigel lives in Texas.
    Texas anti-SLAPP law
    Why anyone is taking this lawsuit seriously puzzles me. And, in my opinion, the negative reaction to this lawsuit will pretty much finish the job on killing off BPI.

  • Abigail

    Paul, you’ve parlayed your poor father’s unfortunate death into a nice little windfall for yourself, haven’t you? Why shouldn’t others learn from your success wringing cash out of cantaloupes? New money makes you mighty cocky there, dude. Go chew a bone yourself.

  • Jane Kay

    Hopefully, the “former BPI employee” will obtain a prompt and well-deserved outcome – summary judgment against him and his pathetic “case”!

  • NJ

    Peter and Albert,
    The reason BPI had to close 3 plants is that they were not honest, forthright or transparent. In other words, they shot themselves in the foot. ABC News did every American a favor with their pink slime story. Ms. Siegel did every parent a favor by circulating her petition, which represented her opinion.
    You may be angry, you may be out of work and you may be suffering, but you are angry at the wrong people. If BPI had been honest and had labeled LFTB from the start, none of this would ever have happened. When you dupe the American public and they find out, it’s not pretty. Direct your anger where it belongs — at BPI and the meat industry that helped with the cover up.

  • Adam

    You do realize BPI did not lie, did not hide anything and did not endanger any consumer? You do realize that, do you not? Perhaps you cannot accept the harsh reality Bettina Seigel’s smear campaign put hundreds of American families out of work. Perhaps you don’t give a crap for those families. Certainly Disney and ABC News cares only for ratings. Obviously, none of those unemployed families go to Bettina’s synagogue so she’s just fine with her achievement. The sheer idiocy and hatefulness of anti-food crusaders gives me chills.

  • Paul F Schwarz

    Well Abigail you must be one heartless person. You weren’t there to see the agony that my dad went through. Dad went from a witty, spry 92 year old to a man that most of the time didn’t know his wife of over 68 years nor his 5 children. You weren’t there to see my mother cry after visiting dad because he didn’t know her. Towards the end dad didn’t know us at all. The last time he said my name was the 21st of October. The sloppy practices by many resulted in 36 deaths and 146 sickened by listeria. Dad did not choose to die this way. This veteran, awarded 2 Purple Hearts, survived New Guinea and the Phillipines, but not listeria tainted cantaloupe!
    Abigail butt out! You know nothing about me, my family or other families that have gone though this nightmare.
    Paul A Schwarz
    December 18, 2011
    Section 51 Row 1 Grave 3 Ft Leavenworth/Leavenworth National Cemetery

  • Abigail

    And what, exactly does any of this tragic cantaloupe collateral damage have to do with LFTB, Paul? How are the two situations even remotely similar apart from legal strategies to exact the greatest possible settlement from the deepest possible pockets? Other than general lawsuit tactics LFTB is in no way comparable to the cantaloupe food poisoning debacle, no comparison at all. Has LFTB killed anyone? Was anyone ever at risk of dying from LFTB? Did anyone die from being grossed out over LFTB, was the “yuck factor” maiming and killing Americans? Why, two or three years ago, did you not conjure up a smarmy internet smear campaign against cantaloupe (orange slime?) to choreograph a nice mass hysteria and thus prevent an all too real catastrophe from descending upon us? One can only hope you decide to do something constructive for food safety with your windfall, but first you will have to get a clue. We won’t hold our breath.

  • Erv Server

    This frivolous lawsuit will only keep negative attention on pink slime.

  • What is wrong with this picture, Abigail? It seems to me that Bruce Smith, the unemployed BPI employee, is the one looking to sue a “deep pocket”
    No, you are right, there have been no reported cases of illness due to the use of ammonia hydroxide. That is because the USDA consider it to be GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe)
    Since ammonia is being used as a processing aid there is no “legal” need to list it on the label. It’s similar to the processing of artificial sweeteners that use formaldehyde as a processing aid and I don’t care to have that in my cup of coffee either.Yeah, sure, it evaporates away during the processing.
    I don’t know about you but as a private health chef, it is my responsibility to keep chemicals out of the food that I serve. This becomes an increasingly difficult task when food corporations are intentionally trying to keep the consumer in the dark. I am not anit-food,I am anti-adulterated food without full disclosure.There is something very fundamentally wrong with the need for LFTB in the first place.

  • Leon

    A “private health chef”? What the hell?
    Oh well, whatever you do in private is none of our concern. It’s the public anti-food scaremongering that concerns us. You know, the ‘public quasi-health quack’ alter ego to your “private health chef” credentials.
    Man, these professional anti-food extremists just get stranger and stranger.

  • your right, Leon, it is STRANGE that the 1% hire private chefs, like myself, to keep all of the dangerous ingredients out of the food that their families consume.
    LFBT is not considered to be a “food” in my repertoire of ingredients. The public still has a right to know so that they can make a choice.

  • Paul F Schwarz

    Abigail, When Albert made reference to Jensen Farms. I will buy you all of the ammonia dipped food you want to consume. BPI wasn’t being truthful to the consumer. I don’t want to support corporations like that!
    Paul A Schwarz
    December 18, 2011
    Section 51 Row 1 Grave 3 Ft Leavenworth/Leavenworth National Cemetery

  • Belinda

    People keep saying BPI lied. What did they lie about? Can anyone explain that , please?

  • Chris

    Everyone blames BPI. They don’t make a product to be sold straight to the customer. The LFTB is sold to hamburger grinding companies to make the hamburger leaner. The news media and others directed their focus at BPI. Why would BPI be responsible for labeling the end product when they don’t make it.

  • Larry

    BPI’s LFTB product is far superior to what’s going into hot dogs. No organ casings, just beef trimmings after the best cuts are gone. Safeway and Kroger sell hot dogs and I eat them every time I go to the ball park. What’s so bad about LFTB in my burger? Put that in your pipe and smoke it, overzealous food bloggers!