Patty Guerra / Modesto Bee

Foster Farms’ lawyers convinced a federal jury in 2011 and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco this week that the company properly followed union-negotiated contract rules in firing an employee when she didn’t return to work as planned.

Foster Farms lawsuit blames exterminator for cockroaches

Published: Saturday, May. 31, 2014 - 12:35 pm

Foster Farms is suing Orkin LLC, charging the pest control company was to blame for cockroaches tied to salmonella-contaminated chicken at the Livingston poultry facility.

The lawsuit, filed late last month in Stanislaus County Superior Court, claims that Orkin should pay damages for failing to fulfill a contract to control cockroaches at the processing plant. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended operations at the Foster Farms plant for three days in January because cockroaches were found at the plant on four occasions.

Orkin and a subsidiary, Orkin Services of California, are named as defendants in the suit. Orkin filed a motion Wednesday seeking to move the case to the federal court in Fresno.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly has tied 574 cases of salmonella illness to raw chicken from the Foster Farms plant in Livingston and two smaller plants in Fresno.

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