U.S. District Court Judge Mark Bennett issued his decision Friday in Sioux City, ruling the plaintiffs have a legal basis to pursue punitive damages if they prove their allegations.
The Des Moines newspaper reports that lawyers for Quality Egg, which is owned by Jack DeCoster, argued there aren't grounds for punitive damages.
People who fell ill after eating salmonella contaminated eggs produced at the farm say DeCoster should be punished because of conditions at his Iowa egg farm and because of his history of salmonella contamination at other farms.
The company declined to comment on the ruling.
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