Sheetz produce supplier sued by victims of Salmonella outbreak


Salmonella lawsuit filed against Coronet Foods by Marler Clark

PITTSBURGH — Marler Clark, the Seattle law firm that represents victims of foodborne illness throughout the United States, and Meyers, Rosen, Louik and Perry, a respected Pittsburgh personal injury firm, filed a Salmonella lawsuit against Coronet Foods, Inc. on Monday in Federal District Court. The plaintiff in the lawsuit is James Groves, a resident of West Sunbury who became ill and was hospitalized for three days after consuming a sandwich purchased from a Sheetz store on July 2.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has determined that more than 60 people, including Mr. Groves, became ill after eating raw tomatoes served at Sheetz outlets. Sheetz operates over 300 stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. The Salmonella serotype Javiana outbreak has spread across eleven Pennsylvania counties and three states, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia. Investigators determined that the contamination originated at Coronet Foods, and that contaminated tomatoes and lettuce had been distributed to Sheetz stores.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing another bacterial outbreak tied to fresh fruits and vegtables. Over the past years, we have seen a decline in cases involving the traditional culprits, such as ground beef, however, the number of produce-related outbreaks seems to be on the rise,” said William Marler, attorney for Mr. Groves and the families of 23 other victims of this outbreak.

Coronet’s website states that “Coronet has a complete Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point program (HACCP) in place to identify, monitor, and remedy all potential hazards and health violations.”

“Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs are helpful in identifying potential points in the production system where bacterial contamination can occur,” Marler added. “But they are not the be all, end all to preventing outbreaks. Companies that distribute fresh produce that will not be cooked before it is eaten must take as many precautions as possible to prevent possible contamination, in the fields where vegetables are grown, facilities where they are washed, and in warehouses where they are stored.”

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BACKGROUND: In addition to the victims of the current Salmonella outbreak, Marler and his partners represent over 100 victims of the Chi-Chi’s hepatitis A outbreak and over 50 victims of the Chili’s Salmonella outbreak outside of Chicago. Marler Clark has achieved great success representing victims, mostly children, in large outbreaks across the country over the last ten years. Total recoveries to date on behalf of such victims exceed $200 million. See the firm-sponsored sites about Salmonella, Salmonella Litigation, and the Salmonella blog.

More about the Sheetz Salmonella outbreak can be found in the Case News area of this site.