Bulk egg supplier sues Iowa trucking company over rejected loads

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 9/24/2014

A bulk liquid egg company has filed a lawsuit against an Iowa-based trucking company, alleging that four of its loads were rejected by U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors in the past year while in transit to its customers.

According to its website, Perham Eggs LLC of Perham, Minn., sells unpasteurized liquid eggs to food manufacturers for final processing. In its suit, the company claims that four loads hauled by Pete Klein Trucking were rejected by USDA inspectors after delivery to its customers, costing Perham Egg more than $173,000.

In its suit filed in federal court in Minnesota on Sept. 16, Perham Egg alleges that Pete Klein Trucking, headquartered in Rock Rapids, Iowa, failed to maintain the liquid eggs “under proper seal (which) is critical to both compliance with federal regulations and ensuring that the liquid eggs are not rendered unfit for human consumptions.”

Perham claims in the lawsuit that the first rejected load occurred in September 2013 after a seal on one of Pete Klein’s tankers was broken and the load of liquid eggs was rendered unfit for human consumption by a USDA inspector.

“The Pete Klein Trucking tanker truck used to haul the first load hit an obstacle on the road with sufficient force to break the seals of the liquid egg containers,” the complaint states.

According to court documents, a second load hauled by Pete Klein Trucking was rejected by a USDA inspector after the inspector found the tanker was improperly sealed and that the load was sealed with a company seal instead of a USDA seal.

In two other incidents, the egg company alleges that loads hauled by Pete Klein Trucking were damaged in transit, resulting in liquid egg leaking from the stainless steel tankers. Perham claims in one of the incidents, a load was rejected by a USDA inspector because an “improper gasket” was used to fix a tanker, which caused the liquid egg product to leak. Court documents allege that a fourth load, hauled by Pete Klein Trucking in August 2014, was also rejected because of a leaky tanker.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website, Pete Klein Trucking has 11 trucks and the same number of drivers.

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