Lawsuits

Three sugar distributors sue ADM, Cargill over "misleading" ads equating high-fructose corn syrup with sugar, saying that campaign is response to customer concerns about obesity

By Dan Levine

Reuters 2011-04-28

Law firm says that Taco Bell uses false advertising when it refers to using "seasoned ground beef" or "seasoned beef"; mixture doesn't meet USDA standards for labeling, suit says

The Associated Press; MSNBC.com 2011-01-24

Wooden pallet group says plastic pallet group's lawsuit over statements condoning research into plastic pallets as possible cause of tainted butter a "distraction"

By Rory Harrington

nutraingredients.com/ Decision News Media 2010-12-20

Judge throws out $2.3 million award to six Nicaraguan men in suit against Dole; banana workers' case had become political movement in poverty-stricken country

By Victoria Kim

Los Angeles Times 2010-07-16

As law students, through schools' legal clinics, take on powerful interests - for example Perdue in Maryland - they face attacks in courts, legislatures

By Ian Urbina

The New York Times 2010-04-03

Fearing cross pollination, organic farmers file suit to halt planting, sugar production of genetically modified sugar beets

By Jeff Barnard

The Associated Press; The Washington Post 2010-03-01

New York must pay farmer's legal fees after challenging him on workers' houses he was building, court rules

By Danny Hakim

The New York Times 2010-02-03

A year after peanut-based salmonella outbreak, Georgia law enforcement has dropped probe, feds say no comment and food safety gaps remain

By Craig Schneider and Bob Keefe


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2010-01-31

Giving a cheese slice to coworker who bought a McDonald's hamburger wasn't firing offense, Netherlands court rules

BBC News 2010-01-26

Franchises, convinced that future is fried, sue KFC over shift to grilled chicken

By Ylan Q. Mui

The Washington Post 2010-01-09

USDA stamp pre-empts California's Proposition 65, which requires labels on meats containing harmful chemicals, judge says

By Kathy Woods

Legal Newsline 2009-12-29

Four groups want USDA to address alleged bias in farm loans

By Kari Lydersen

The Washington Post 2009-12-21

Environmental sleuths take to air on hunt for chicken litter

Network of volunteer pilots, sleuths on aerial hunt for chicken litter around Chesapeake Bay as EPA steps up enforcement, targets concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Livestock operations generate about 500 million tons of manure annually. Waste can contaminate water, depleting oxygen, killing fish, and sometimes harbors e.coli. And: In trial against poultry industry, state of Oklahoma says since companies own birds from hatching to slaughterhouse, they also own their manure; Tyson, Cargill, other companies argue waste is responsibility of contract growers (click 'See also').

By Lauren Etter

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-11-03

See also 

Wrongful death award looks past anti-immigrant sentiment

After Archer Daniels Midland offers $500,000, and later, $1 million to settle after death of worker in steam explosion at its Illinois BioProducts plant, lawyer takes a chance on trial despite anti-immigrant sentiment. Jury awards family $6.7 million to family, which lives in Mexico (click 'See also'). Since 1995, nine people have died at company's Decatur sites. Latinos have highest workplace death rate of any ethnicity because they tend to work in dangerous professions - meatpacking, forestry, construction. Union official says judgment sends message that workers' rights should be respected.

By Kari Lydersen

The Washington Post 2009-10-11

See also 

River pollution suit against Tyson, Cargill, may affect meat prices

Oklahoma's pollution lawsuit against Tyson, Cargill, others in Arkansas poultry industry begins in Tulsa on Sept. 24 is being closely watched by industry. At issue is practice of spreading chicken waste on fields in Illinois River watershed, which state say caused runoff that polluted river. Industry says Arkansas, Oklahoma sanctioned practice by issuing farmers permits to spread waste. And: Oklahoma Attorney General asks if Big Poultry owns birds, feed, drugs (click 'See also'), doesn't it own chicken litter, too? If poultry companies lose the case, industry spokesperson says U.S.-raised meat prices will go up.

By Justin Juozapavicius

The Associated Press; Duluth News Tribune 2009-09-20

See also 

Groups target faux, real chicken products

Packaging of meat substitute product should declare that some people have serious allergic reactions to main ingredient, a vat-grown, protein-rich fungus, says Connecticut lawsuit, which seeks class-action status. Woman alleges that she ate Quorn's Chik'n Patties on three occasions in 2008 and became 'violently ill' each time. Anti-meat advocacy group plans suit over KFC's grilled chicken, which lab tests show contains PhIP, chemical that it said can increase risk of developing cancer.

By Jerry Hirsch

Los Angeles Times 2009-09-18

Two pesticide suits against banana grower dismissed

Judge dismisses two lawsuits against Dole after its lawyers said that poor people in Nicaragua were recruited to file complaints. At least 16,000 Latin American workers have sued over 20 years seeking damages from chemical companies that made the pesticide dibromochloropropane, or DBCP, and growers that used it. More than 40 related cases with thousands of plaintiffs pending in L.A.

By Edvard Pettersson

Bloomberg 2009-04-24

After 16 years, Ecuadorian water pollution case in judge's hands

In Ecuador, judge will decide whether Texaco is to blame for pollution of rain forest waterways where tens of thousands used water for drinking, cooking, bathing and some later died. Farm worker activist conducts 'toxic tours' to one massive sludge pool (of hundreds) where waste was dumped into leaky unlined pit. Study under way on effects of pollution on fishing, agriculture. And: Chevron shareholders want report on protection of people, environment in countries where it operates (click 'See also').

By Juan Forero

The Washington Post 2009-04-27

See also 

No pork, no Dunkin' for restaurateur, court finds

A Chicago-area operator of a Dunkin' Donuts store told to give up his franchise because of his religious objections to serving breakfast sandwiches with bacon, ham or sausage. Company accommodated restaurateur's Muslim dietary tenets for 20 years but reversed itself. Federal court ruled that withdrawing franchise was not discriminatory. And: Pork ban is only one tenet of halal food (click 'See also').

By Ahmeet Sachdev

Chicago Tribune 2009-04-01

See also 

In coal country, lawsuits allege ruined water, health

Hundreds in Appalachia sue coal companies, saying that slurry (mix of clay, sulfur, other impurities cleaned from coal) pumped into old mines ruined well water, caused sickness. Seldom-supervised sites also used to store sludge, ash, sand, cement, EPA says. West Virginia Coal Association argues that if injection weren't safe, EPA wouldn't allow it. And: Chemical content of slurry, mostly injected in West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama unstudied (click 'See also').

By Vicki Smith

The Associated Press; MSNBC 2009-03-18

See also 

Protection payments

After Chiquita admits 1990s payments to rebel group FARC to protect its banana plantation workers from guerrillas near Colombia-Panama border, widows of missionaries killed by the group sue under antiterrorism law. They say the Cincinnati-based produce company's payments armed rebels and funded terrorism. Chiquita says assertion is untrue and promises vigorous defense.

By Carmen Gentile

The New York Times 2008-03-17

Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution

Alaska Mill and Feed

After issuing injunction forbidding intimidation and coercion, judge rules that distinctive logo, found mostly on produce marking products of Alaska, belongs to state. Regional farm bureau had used logo on T-shirts and wanted exclusive rights for use.

By Anne Sutton

The Associated Press 2008-01-10

Past compensation

In case seen as test of U.S. legal system's response to injuries in a globalized economy, Dole Food Co., ordered to pay $2.5 million in punitive damages to Nicaraguan workers who weren't warned about sterility hazards of DBCP pesticide exposure on banana farm 30 years ago. Additional claims await produce giant and other companies.

By John Spano

Los Angeles Times 2007-11-15

Dole blow

In first case of foreign farmworkers winning in a U.S. court against Dole and Dow over pesticide, jury says that, beyond $3.2 million already awarded, Dole is liable for punitive damages. The six men say that Dow's DBCP, used 30 years ago on Nicaraguan banana plantation and now banned in U.S., made them sterile; thousands more suing as well.

By John Spano

Los Angeles Times 2007-11-08

Barren future?

Banana farm workers sue Dole, alleging that work in the 1970s alongside pesticide called DBCP made them sterile; suit also names Dow Chemical Co., saying that it "actively suppressed information about DBCP's reproductive toxicity."

By Noaki Schwartz

Associated Press; Forbes.com 2007-08-14

Idea infringement?

Citing intellectual property, New York restaurateur and chef of Pearl Oyster Bar sues former employee for remarkable similarities in look and feel of a new place, Ed's Lobster Bar.

By Pete Wells

The New York Times (may require subscription)