A salmonella lawsuit against Coronet Foods Inc. was filed Monday in Federal District Court by Marler Clark, the Seattle law firm that represents victims of food borne illness throughout the United States, and Meyers, Rosen, Louik & Perry, a respected Pittsburgh personal injury firm. 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 2nd.

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 vegetables. 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.