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    Judge Dismisses Suppliers in Sheetz Case

    Claims against tomato suppliers in salmonella case dropped, leaving Sheetz and Coronet as the only defendants.

    HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. -- A judge 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, The Associated Press reported.

    CSNews Online reported last week that President Judge Jolene G. Kopriva heard arguments from several companies asking to be excluded from the civil lawsuit, and the judge decided Sheetz and its vegetable wholesaler, Coronet Foods of Wheeling, W.Va., could not prove where the tomatoes came from and dismissed claims against two main suppliers -- Procacci Brothers Sales Corp. of Philadelphia and Consumer Produce Co. Inc. of Pittsburgh -- as well as six farms or other businesses that may have grown the tomatoes, the report stated.

    This means Sheetz and Coronet are the only defendants left in the case.

    Federal investigators traced hundreds of illnesses to salmonella found on tomatoes sold in Sheetz stores in Pennsylvania and other states in June and July 2004, and a Sheetz official said the company may appeal the ruling, according to the report. Coronet went bankrupt after the outbreak.

    Although hundreds of legal claims and lawsuits have been settled, the suit brought by Max Anslinger of Altoona remains. Anslinger, a married father of twins, contended he suffers from gastrointestinal and arthritis problems caused by the salmonella, the report stated.

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