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    Sheetz May Start Settling Salmonella Case

    Financial settlements contingent on judge's approval.

    WHEELING, W.Va. -- Lawyers for more than 400 people made sick by salmonella-tainted tomatoes last summer may begin trying to hammer out financial settlements next month, according to the Associated Press.

    Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc., which operates approximately 300 convenience stores, and supplier Coronet Foods made news last summer when people from Virginia and eight other states were sickened after eating Roma tomatoes served at Sheetz stores in July.

    Seattle attorney Bill Marler, who represents 98 of the victims, says that if a judge approves, he will begin talks with attorneys for Sheetz and Coronet. Coronet has since gone bankrupt.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced the produce to a Florida packing house.

    Food inspectors say Coronet and Sheetz did nothing wrong, but can be held liable because they supplied and prepared the tomatoes.

    People who are unable to come to terms in the mediation may continue to sue Coronet and Sheetz once the negotiations have ended.

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