sheetz remains entangled in tainted tomato lawsuit

The chain and one bankrupt supplier are last two defendants in the case.

Blair County Judge Jolene Kopriva dismissed a group of tomato suppliers from a lawsuit brought by a man who claims he was sickened by salmonella-tainted tomatoes he got at a Sheetz store in 2004, according to the Associated Press.

The judge said Altoon, Pa.-based Sheetz and its vegetable wholesaler, Coronet Foods of Wheeling, W.Va., could not prove where the tomatoes came from. Judge Kopriva dismissed claims against two main suppliers–Procacci Brothers Sales Corp. of Philadelphia and Consumer Produce Co. Inc. of Pittsburgh–and against six farms or other businesses that may have grown the tomatoes.

This new ruling means Sheetz and Coronet are the only defendants left in the case, which federal investigators traced hundreds of salmonella-related illnesses tomatoes sold in Sheetz stores during June and July 2004.

Sheetz said it may appeal the ruling. Coronet went bankrupt after the outbreak.

Although hundreds of claims and lawsuits have been settled, the suit brought by Max Anslinger of Altoona remains. Anslinger claims to suffer from gastrointestinal and arthritis problems caused by the salmonella.

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