WASHINGTON, May 24, 2017 - Austin “Jack” DeCoster and son Peter, whose salmonella-tainted eggs sickened nearly 2,000 people in 2010, lost their bid to have their three-month prison sentences reviewed by the Supreme Court.
On Monday, the high court rejected the pair’s petition for a writ of certiorari, which was based on the theory that they did not know about the food safety or other violations at their egg facilities and so they did not deserve to go to jail. The case had been seen as a good candidate for the court to review the Park doctrine, also called the “responsible corporate officer” doctrine, which Food and Drug Administration officials during the Obama administration said would be used more often to go after officials whose companies were found to violate the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
The DeCosters’ company, Quality Egg, was ordered to pay a fine of $6.79 million, and the DeCosters were each ordered to pay $100,000 fines. Jack DeCoster is in his 80s; his son is in his 50s. They had been free pending the outcome of their petition.