Bryan Gentry reported yesterday that “[t]he victims of a salmonella outbreak that was traced to Lynchburg-based Peanut Corp. of America nearly 18 months ago could finally see some money next month. On Wednesday a U.S. District Court judge in Roanoke agreed to speed up the process of approving the personal injury claims received in PCA’s bankruptcy case.”

In January 2009 salmonella was found in a jar of peanut butter made by PCA. That led to the recall of thousands of food products, several lawsuits and PCA’s bankruptcy.

Last fall, the bankruptcy court set up a $12 million fund using money from Peanut Corp. insurance policies to pay the personal injury claims of people who had been sickened by the salmonella. Eventually 123 claims were submitted by people who had suffered from salmonella poisoning or whose relatives had died from it.

According to court documents, most claims are valued at $100,000 or less. One is valued at more than $2 million. Eight of the claims involve wrongful death claims, and 44 involve minors who became sick.