Houston attorney Ron Simon represented 122 of those sickened, including Ivester, in a class action lawsuit. The exact settlement amounts remain confidential pending a bankruptcy judge's approval, Simon told the AJC. But the settlements are tied to the severity of the victims' sickness, including the medical bills related to the outbreak.
"Mr. Ivester's illness was one of the most serious in the entire outbreak," Simon said Thursday afternoon.
The settlements from the insurance money range from $2 million for a West Virginia man and nearly $1 million to the estate of an Alabama woman, to less than $50,000 for some children, according to the Associated Press. Most of the other claims are for less than $100,000.
"All of these families have mounting medical bills and this happened right at the heat of the economy tanking," Simon said. "This is going to give them a chance to pay those bills and move on and get closure on what was a very, very traumatic part of their lives."
The outbreak led to the shutdown of the Blakely plant, eliminating 50 jobs in the southwest Georgia town. The Peanut Corp. later filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Under the brand names Parnell's Pride and King Nut, Peanut Corp. produced not only peanut butter, but peanut paste, an ingredient found in foods from granola bars and dog biscuits to ice cream and cake. More than 3,490 products were recalled, including millions of Kellogg's Austin and Keebler peanut butter sandwich crackers.
Additional undisclosed settlement funds are being paid by Kellogg, Simon said.
Wednesday's recommendation by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Urbanski follows a nearly five-hour hearing last week where the judge questioned three lawyers representing the families and children, trustees in the bankruptcy case and a lawyer for Kellogg.