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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Tomato supplier for Sheetz ceases operations, blames bad publicity

In a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story Tomato supplier for Sheetz ceases operations, blames bad publicity, Joe Fahy and Jerome Sherman reported today that Coronet Foods, tomato distributer for sandwiches sold at Sheetz convenience stores, was ceasing operations today at its plant in Wheeling, West Virginia, leaving 220 workers without jobs. The company blames its going out of business on bad publicity from this summer’s salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 400 people, about 330 Pennsylvanians and another 80 people in nearby states.

Marler’s Seattle-based firm has filed three lawsuits as a result of the outbreak, all targeting Coronet. He said the company’s decision to go out of business would not affect the lawsuits.

“Coronet has enough insurance to resolve all the claims,” he said. “We’re hopeful we can eventually get through this, either by litigation or settlement.”