An Oregon egg producer is seeking $500,000 in damages from a Washington company it accuses of improperly installing equipment that led to the deaths of 100,000 chickens.

Willamette Egg Farms, based in Canby, Ore., has filed a lawsuit claiming that an electrical malfunction halted ventilation at its facility in Moses Lake, Wash., asphyxiating 100,000 hens.

The complaint alleges that Spectrum Communications of Moses Lake is liable for negligence and breach of contract because it installed a control system that failed to set off an alarm when the ventilation system stopped operating.

Capital Press was unable to reach the owner of Spectrum Communications for comment as of press time.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Rice in Spokane, Wash., is presiding over the lawsuit, which was filed in the Eastern District of Washington.

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