Foundation Food Group is suing Selective Way Insurance Co., alleging that the insurer has refused to pay more than $2 million it owes related to a liquid nitrogen leak at the plant on January 28.

The leak led to the deaths of six workers at a poultry processing plant in Gainesville, Georgia.

According to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Foundation Food Group filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Atlanta. The lawsuit seeks a jury trial.

In the suit, Foundation Food Group asserts that it lost $465,711 in chicken that had to be discarded while the plant was shut down after the leak. It also alleges it lost another $1,247,062 in various expenses.

Selective Way, meanwhile, reportedly is investigating the situation.


The company faces nearly $600,000 in fines from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) for alleged violations connected to the January incident, but the company has appealed the proposed fines.

Acquisition of Foundation Food Group pending

Amid the lawsuit and citations from OSHA, Gold Creek Foods, a further processor of chicken products, earlier this month announced its intent to acquire nearly all of the assets of Foundation Food Group. While the details surrounding the proposed transaction were not released, Gold Creek Foods stated that it expected the deal to close in early October.

Foundation Food Group formed with the merger of Prime Pak Foods and Victory Processing. The fatal liquid nitrogen leak occurred at a former Prime Pak Foods facility in Gainesville.

Originally named Agora Foods, Gold Creek Foods has grown substantially since its formation in 2000.

After operating in a small processing room, the company relocated to Dawsonville, Georgia, where it renovated a former textile mill and converted it into a fully functional poultry processing facility. The company, according to its website, has since continued to expand its presence, purchasing plants from Pilgrim’s Pride, Perdue Farms, Schreiber Foods, John Soules Foods and First Fresh Foods, with the former First Fresh Foods facility becoming Gold Creek Foods’ sixth plant. All six of those locations are in the Gainesville area.