According to a news source, the families of those who died or became ill from consuming Salmonella-tainted peanut products scheduled a February 11, 2011, press conference to call for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to bring criminal charges against the man who headed the bankrupt Peanut Corp. of America, to which the contamination was allegedly traced. More than 700 people were said to have experienced ill effects in 2008-2009 from the outbreak and at least nine died. Former Peanut Corp. CEO Stewart Parnell invoked the Fifth Amendment when called to testify before Congress, and, despite a two-year investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office, no charges have yet been filed.
The press conference coincided with a food safety seminar at the American University Washington College of Law at which some of the family members were scheduled to speak along with plaintiffs’ lawyer William Marler, who has represented a number of those affected by the tainted peanut butter. Oregon resident Karen Andrew, who claims that the ill effects she experienced lingered for a year, was quoted as saying, “Something should be done. [Parnell] hasn’t paid a price.” Parnell’s lawyer said he and Parnell, who now works as an industry consultant, hoped the government would agree that “there’s no basis for prosecution.” See Oregon Live, February 10, 2011.