Chicken companies on offensive, anticipating August hearing

ARKANSAS - Poultry companies named in a lawsuit alleging that arsenic in chicken litter causes cancer have asked a judge to bar all references to a monolithic "poultry industry" during an upcoming trial.

That motion, along with several others, was filed in advance of an August 3 hearing in the case.

Poultry company attorneys contend the plaintiffs are trying to generally blame the whole industry in order to avoid the more difficult task of having to prove that one or more of the individual companies directly caused their alleged health problems.

Washington County Circuit Judge Kim Smith earlier refused to make the case a class action, saying the individual claims involved vary too widely and each plaintiff would have to prove his own case.

To that end, the poultry companies also asked the judge to bar references to any other plaintiffs and their alleged illnesses during trial.

Also filed Monday was a motion to exclude statements attributed to staff at Arkansas Children's Hospital to the effect that there is some kind of link between the poultry industry and childhood health problems, including cancer, in Northwest Arkansas. The defendants argue the hospital staff has done no study to establish whether a correlation exists or not. They also say the statements are hearsay, sometimes second- and third-hand.

Source: The Morning News
calendar icon 25 July 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
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