Court records show the current partners of Jensen Farms as ESJ Inc., of Holly and Biologik, also of Holly. Eric Jensen is president of ESJ Inc.
Marler said there are 45 claims by victims of the outbreak against Jensen, with 39 claims represented by Marler Clark and six represented by other lawyers.
“The unfortunate thing — less so for the victims but more so for the rest of the chain of distribution — is the fact that Jensen Farms had such low insurance limits,” Marler said.
With $2 million and modest assets otherwise, the commercial liability and the personal injury liability drove them towards the bankruptcy filing.
Marler said it may take upwards of $75 million or more to satisfy existing claims from victims of the outbreak.
He said $50 million was spent to resolve 100 claims tied to the 2006 E. Coli outbreak in spinach that saw only five deaths.
Marler said in the best case scenario, all the claims might be resolved by October. The worst case scenario is that the only money put in the trust fund is the $4.5 million from Jensen Farms, BioFood Safety and Pepper Equipment. After that, Marler said litigation amongst Frontera, Primus and retailers is likely to be taken up again with 45 cases in a dozen or more states.