Last week, peanut executive Stewart Parnell was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the salmonella outbreak that killed nine people. He knew of the risk and contamination, but chose to still market the products. This sentencing is unprecedented in food-poisoning cases.
Linda Lipsen, CEO of the American Association for Justice, wrote in Huffington Post:
Stewart Parnell’s sentence may be unprecedented but his actions are not. Time and time again, corporate executives have put profits before safety and killed or injured consumers. Whole industries – asbestos, tobacco – have been built on the lives of Americans, and criminal repercussions have been few and far between. Even as justice was done this week in a criminal court, we must not forget that it is the civil justice system – the very justice system under constant attack from corporate interests – that has proven time and again to be the most effective, and sometimes the only, mechanism for deterring negligent behavior.
AAJ President Larry Tawwater said, “We are under siege by corporate treachery: GM faulty ignitions, defective guardrails and airbags, salmonella-laced peanut products, and the most recent revelation about Volkswagen diesel engines.”
WSAJ stands with AAJ in “fighting for a world with more accountability, less injury, and more justice for consumers.”