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Friday, July 3, 2009

Bad Neighbor Award: Bridgewater Maggoty Meat Owner Takes No Responsibility

Ilan Parente was the owner of Bridgewater Quality Meats. He made his living on a religious angle, running the largest kosher bison plant in the world. But he obviously doesn't approach all aspects of business from a religious perspective... unless that religion is a too-quick reading of CYA Ayn Rand egoism.

Last month, Bridgewater officials discovered 44 tons of rotting, maggoty meat that Parente had left untended in the plant since it closed early last year. The rotten meat created a nasty stench. The city tried to get hold of Parente but no response until they sicced the city attorney on Parente. The owner then dragged his feet until the stink got so bad that local officials put on boots, gloves, and gas masks and cleared out the offal themselves.

So how does this religious man respond? Parente's comments to the Mitchell Daily Republic are as maggoty as his meat:

“Should we have acted sooner? Should the guys have gotten in there a week before? Probably,” Parente said. “If we were negligent, obviously those folks in Bridgewater would have smelled that meat last summer.”

Parente said the meat might have smelled bad, but it was never putting anyone in danger — “unless you get down and eat it.”

“Since when is rotting meat hazardous material? That means whenever a deer is hit on the side of the road, we’d have to vacate town,” Parente said.

...“What it basically comes down to is, does one spend $7,000 or $10,000 to quiet this, or does one fight them?” he said. “I don’t have an answer to that. What I don’t want to do is, by paying this, I don’t want to admit, necessarily, guilt. Were we negligent? I don’t even know what the legal definition might be” [Jamie Gibson, "Owner: Spoiled Meat Was No Hazard," Mitchell Daily Republic, 2009.07.02].

No contrition, no acknowledgment of responsibility or neighbors betrayed, just excuses and prep work for a court fight. Now that's disgusting.

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