Sheetz Inc. has settled all but a few customer lawsuits spawned by salmonella-tainted tomatoes sold at its convenience stores two years ago.
So far, most of the money paid to Sheetz customers has come from U.S. Fire Insurance Co. The company insured Coronet Foods Inc., of Wheeling, W. Va., which sold the tomatoes to Sheetz. What remains to be seen is whether U.S. Fire will be reimbursed by Coronet’s suppliers and their insurance companies. Sheetz officials and Coronet’s former owner are also seeking damages for the harm done to the businesses, said Sheetz’s San Diego-based attorney, Fred Gordon.
"I have uncovered zero evidence to suggest that Sheetz did anything wrong other than being a conduit for tainted tomatoes," Gordon said. "If Coronet is a conduit and Sheetz is a conduit, then you take the next step and determine who the upstream suppliers are."
Federal investigators traced the tomatoes to a Florida packing house, but said nothing was done wrong there to taint them. The feds also absolved Sheetz and Coronet.