Berrybrook attorney responds to legal actionPublished 6:02pm Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Attorney for Berrybrook Farms Inc. Stephanie Setterington responded Tuesday to inquiries about the lawsuit brought against the farms by the federal government.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor filed a petition for civil contempt, stating Berrybrook Farms Inc. failed to meet a 2010 agreement to improve migrant employee housing. Berrybrook Farms Inc. also operates business matters under Berrybrook Enterprises Inc. The business, with offices at 28230 Elm St. in Dowagiac, was created in 1991 and incorporated in Michigan, with housing for migrant workers in Cass and Van Buren counties. The lawsuit says the farm and owner Joe Hassle Sr. neglected several living conditions, such as adequate water supplies, rodent control and screens. Therefore, the complaint is asking for compliance and fines associated with a follow-up investigation.
“Because the matter is still in the litigation process, we cannot comment,” Setterington. “However, Berrybrook Farms is committed to the compliance with state and federal laws.”
Setterington also said the process is in early stages.
“What I can say is that Berrybrook is committed to treating all of their employees humanely,” Setterington said.