Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. has settled four wrongful-death or injury lawsuits involving the deadly 2002 listeria outbreak that was linked to one of its plants, the meat company announced last week Friday.
The second food company tied to the outbreak, J.L. Foods, is set to defend itself in federal court next week when the first case reaches trial.
Eight people died and more than 50 were sickened in the outbreak, which led to one of the largest meat recalls in US history.
The listeria strain discovered in the victims was found by federal investigators in meat processed at the now-closed J.L. Foods plant in Camden and in a plant of Pilgrim’s Pride subsidiary Wampler Foods – but not in the meat itself – in Franconia, Philadelphia.
A spokesman for Pilgrim’s Pride said the company settled the cases to bring them to a close without incurring the costs and time associated with a trial and possible appeal.
Terms of the settlements were not enclosed.