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    Is Celiac Disease at the Heart of Lawsuit Against Merrill Lynch?


    Jefferson Adams


    • Kringel claims that the sabotage cost him annual income in excess of $250,000, and that the actions were taken deliberately as retaliation for Kringel's three-month leave.


    Image Caption: Photo: CC--See Ming Lee

    Celiac.com 10/11/2017 - A Merrill Lynch broker in Denver has sued the firm in federal court, claiming that its systemic "sabotage" of his relationship with clients during and following two medical leaves have cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars.


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    In a case filed this summer in federal court in Colorado, Kirk Kringel, a broker with Merrill since 2010, alleges that the company violated his rights under the Family Medical Leave Act by retaliating against him for taking the two medical leaves, including one that was related to celiac disease.

    A seasoned broker, Mr. Kringel worked previously with Morgan Stanley and Dean Witter for nearly 15 years before joining Merrill Lynch. According to the complaint, colleagues and managers at Merrill "systematically interfered with and sabotaged Kringel's relationships with his clients by failing to service some of his clients, permanently re-assigning some of his clients to other financial advisors, and providing misinformation to his clients that undermined his relationships."

    Kringel claims that the sabotage cost him annual income in excess of $250,000, and that the actions were taken deliberately as retaliation for Kringel's three-month leave in 2015 and an unpaid medical leave that he began in February 2017. Kringel alleges in the suit that the losses to his accounts were engineered by a former business partner and colleague who moved with him to Merrill, and is claiming that the alleged violation of federal FMLA law justifies a courtroom trial.

    If successful, he will avoid arbitration, which would be the standard course for such complaints.

    Merrill Lynch spokesman Bill Halldin disputed the allegations on behalf of the company, but offered no comment on whether it will seek to have the complaint moved to arbitration.

    Neither Kringel, nor his lawyers at the firm of Moye, White offered further comment.

    Stay tuned for more on Mr. Kringel's efforts, and on legal issues regarding celiac disease and employment, disability, and the like.

    Read more at Advisorhub.com


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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.

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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/11/2017 - A UK man has filed a lawsuit against a local bar and grill after becoming sick on a gyro salad that servers led him to believe was gluten-free.
    The Webster Groves resident, Phillip "Gus" Wagner alleges that servers at Michael's Bar & Grill in Manchester, provided inaccurate information about the dish, and that he suffered an adverse reaction to the gluten in the dish that left him with "severe and permanent injuries."
    His lawyer, Christine Anderson of Faerber and Anderson, specifies that Mr. Wagner was injured in one or more of the following respects to wit: injuries to the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, internal organs, respiratory system and body as a whole; that he sustained an aggravation of a pre-existing condition; that said injuries are permanent and permanently disabling; that he has experienced pain and suffering in the past and is reasonably certain to experience pain and suffering in the future; that he has expended money for necessary medical care, treatment and services in the past and is reasonably certain to expend money for necessary medical care, treatment and services in the future resulting from said occurrence; that he has lost the ordinary gains of his employment and will lose further such sums in the future; that he has sustained loss of a normal life.
    For their part, the restaurant says that the lawsuit is their first indication of any kind of a problem. Michale's general manager, Katina Malliotakis, says they had no indication that any customer had any kind of problem, until someone called and demanded to know their insurance company, and adding that that someone had told Wagner the gyro salad was gluten-free.
    Malliotakis says that Michale's special gluten-free menu does not include the gyro salad, and that her servers are all aware of that fact. "Nobody remembers a customer asking about the gyro salad,” she says.
    If someone did ask for a gluten-free salad, any server would have pointed them toward another salad on the menu that is gluten-free."We have plenty of gluten-free options if people ask for that," she says.
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    Source:
    riverfronttimes.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/16/2017 - Colonial Williamsburg prides itself on educating both children and adults in the rich history of life in colonial America. That's why claims that Colonial Williamsburg kicked an 11-year-old boy on a school field trip out of one of its restaurants earlier this year are drawing attention and sharp comment.
    The incident happened May 11, during a field trip for about 30 students and 30 adults. The trip, which included a meal at Shields Tavern, was the culmination of a yearlong research project.
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    "J.D. was crying openly as he was removed from Shields Tavern in front of his peers," the lawsuit said. In speaking with management, the teacher learned that the restaurant "permits toddlers to eat outside food, including goldfish and Lunchables inside the restaurant."
    When J.D. eats gluten, he experiences "precipitous drops in blood pressure that result in him losing consciousness," the lawsuit said. "Doctors haven't determined whether it is celiac disease or a "Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity," but multiple specialists at Johns Hopkins have concluded that it is critical J.D. not ingest gluten, even in trace amounts," the suit said.
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    The family's attorney, Mary Vargas, said in a statement that "Children with disabilities that require strict adherence to special diets often find themselves on the outside of school parties and social events, but here this child was quite literally removed to the outside in a way that left him feeling humiliated and unworthy."
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    Source:
    pilotonline.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/25/2017 - Japanese drug maker Daiichi Sankyo will pay $300 million to settle thousands of federal and state court lawsuits over its top-selling blood pressure drugs, Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor, according to the lead Plaintiffs' lawyers.
    The settlement was reached in the federal multi-district litigation (MDL) case titled In re: Benicar (Olmesartan) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2606, pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Camden Division.
    Overseeing the federal MDL litigation are the Honorable Judge Robert Kugler and the Honorable Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider, who handled the settlement negotiations.
    The agreement covers about 2,500 claims by individuals who claim severe and sometimes life-threatening gastrointestinal injuries after using medications containing the active ingredient olmesartan medoxomil (Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor).
    Numerous reports have tied Olmesartan to sprue-like enteropathy and changes in the intestinal tract that mimic those seen in celiac disease, and inhibit a person's ability to absorb nutrients.
    The parties reached the resolution as they maneuvered ahead of pre-trial hearings, and an expected trial in federal court. Christopher L. Coffin and Adam M. Slater, Co-Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs, praised the settlement as an excellent outcome for the Plaintiffs.
    In a statement, Coffin said that they were "very pleased with the outcome of this hard-fought litigation. This is a gratifying resolution for thousands of patients who suffered severe gastrointestinal injuries while using these blood pressure medications."
    Under the settlement, former olmesartan users who have claims, and who meet certain criteria will be eligible for compensation.
    For more information go to OlmesartanProductLitigationSettlement.com.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 09/13/2017 - Facing charges that it forced a young boy with gluten-intolerance to eat outside in the rain, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has issued an official statement in which it denies violating any laws or mistreating an 11-year old Maryland boy with a food allergy, while he was eating in Shields Tavern with a school group in May, according to a filing Monday in U.S. District Court.
    The lawsuit, filed by a Maryland family, alleges that Colonial Williamsburg violated federal and state law by discriminating against the boy, referred to as J.D. in court documents, by not allowing him to eat his food inside Shields Tavern May 11. The suit further contends that the boy was forced to eat alone in the rain.
    Colonial Williamsburg Foundation claims that staff informed the boy's school no outside food is permitted in its taverns. They also claim that Shields Tavern offered to accommodate J.D. by preparing a gluten-free meal for him, and that the school had in fact ordered gluten-free meals ahead of J.D.'s visit to Colonial Williamsburg.
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    The foundation also stated that they never asked the family to leave the tavern, but that they chose to leave and eat outside.
    The Foundation claims that the tavern's head chef is trained to prepare gluten-free meals, that Shields Tavern routinely prepares gluten-free meals for guests, and that they did so for the J.D.
    In a statement, the family's attorney, Mary Vargas, said Colonial Williamsburg's response to the lawsuit falls short.
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    So, did Colonial Williamsburg wrongly force a gluten-free kid to eat outside in the rain? Or did they accommodate the child with gluten-free food only to be rebuffed by the boys father? Sounds like we'll need to wait for more news from the lawsuit before we have a good answer to that question. Stay tuned.
    Read more at: vagazette.com

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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/21/2018 - These easy-to-make tortilla wraps make a great addition to your lunchtime menu. Simply grab your favorite gluten-free tortillas, a bit of cream cheese, some charred fresh sweet corn, creamy avocado and ripe summer tomato. Add a bit of sliced roast beef and some mayonnaise and hot sauce, and you’re in business. And it's all ready in about half an hour. If you cook the corn the night before, they can be ready in just a few minutes.
    Ingredients:
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    Celiac.com 07/20/2018 - During my Vipassana retreat, I wasn’t left with much to eat during breakfast, at least in terms of gluten free options. Even with gluten free bread, the toasters weren’t separated to prevent cross contamination. All of my other options were full of sugar (cereals, fruits), which I try to avoid, especially for breakfast. I had to come up with something that did not have sugar, was tasty, salty, and gave me some form of protein. After about four days of mixing and matching, I was finally able to come up with the strangest concoction, that may not look the prettiest, but sure tastes delicious. Actually, if you squint your eyes just enough, it tastes like buttery popcorn. I now can’t stop eating it as a snack at home, and would like to share it with others who are looking for a yummy nutritious snack. 
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/19/2018 - Maintaining a gluten-free diet can be an on-going challenge, especially when you factor in all the hidden or obscure gluten that can trip you up. In many cases, foods that are naturally gluten-free end up contain added gluten. Sometimes this can slip by us, and that when the suffering begins. To avoid suffering needlessly, be sure to keep a sharp eye on labels, and beware of added or hidden gluten, even in food labeled gluten-free.  Use Celiac.com's SAFE Gluten-Free Food List and UNSAFE Gluten-free Food List as a guide.
    Also, beware of these common mistakes that can ruin your gluten-free diet. Watch out for:
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/18/2018 - Despite many studies on immune development in children, there still isn’t much good data on how a mother’s diet during pregnancy and infancy influences a child’s immune development.  A team of researchers recently set out to assess whether changes in maternal or infant diet might influence the risk of allergies or autoimmune disease.
    The team included Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, Despo Ierodiakonou, Katharine Jarrold, Sergio Cunha,  Jennifer Chivinge, Zoe Robinson, Natalie Geoghegan, Alisha Ruparelia, Pooja Devani, Marialena Trivella, Jo Leonardi-Bee, and Robert J. Boyle.
    They are variously associated with the Department of Undiagnosed Celiac Disease More Common in Women and Girls International Health, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America; the Respiratory Epidemiology, Occupational Medicine and Public Health, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; the Section of Paediatrics, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; the Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom; the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom; and Stanford University in the USA.
    Team members searched MEDLINE, Excerpta Medica dataBASE (EMBASE), Web of Science, Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and Literatura Latino Americana em Ciências da Saúde (LILACS) for observational studies conducted between January 1946 and July 2013, and interventional studies conducted through December 2017, that evaluated the relationship between diet during pregnancy, lactation, or the first year of life, and future risk of allergic or autoimmune disease. 
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    They found a high bias risk in nearly half of the more than 250 milk feeding studies and in about one-quarter of studies of other dietary exposures. Evidence from 19 intervention trials suggests that oral supplementation with probiotics during late pregnancy and lactation may reduce risk of eczema. 44 cases per 1,000; 95% CI 20–64), and 6 trials, suggest that fish oil supplementation during pregnancy and lactation may reduce risk of allergic sensitization to egg. GRADE certainty of these findings was moderate. 
    The team found less evidence, and low GRADE certainty, for claims that breastfeeding reduces eczema risk during infancy, that longer exclusive breastfeeding is associated with reduced type 1 diabetes mellitus, and that probiotics reduce risk of infants developing allergies to cow’s milk. 
    They found no evidence that dietary exposure to other factors, including prebiotic supplements, maternal allergenic food avoidance, and vitamin, mineral, fruit, and vegetable intake, influence risk of allergic or autoimmune disease. 
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    Stay tuned for more on diet during pregnancy and its role in celiac disease.
    Source:
    PLoS Med. 2018 Feb; 15(2): e1002507. doi:  10.1371/journal.pmed.1002507

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/17/2018 - What can fat soluble vitamin levels in newly diagnosed children tell us about celiac disease? A team of researchers recently assessed fat soluble vitamin levels in children diagnosed with newly celiac disease to determine whether vitamin levels needed to be assessed routinely in these patients during diagnosis.
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    The team evaluated 27 female, 25 male celiac patients, and an evenly divided group of 50 healthy control subjects. Patients averaged 9 years, and weighed 16.2 kg. The most common symptom in celiac patients was growth retardation, which was seen in 61.5%, with  abdominal pain next at 51.9%, and diarrhea, seen in 11.5%. Histological examination showed nearly half of the patients at grade Marsh 3B. 
    Vitamin A and vitamin D levels for celiac patients were significantly lower than the control group. Vitamin A and vitamin D deficiencies were significantly more common compared to healthy subjects. Nearly all of the celiac patients showed vitamin D insufficiency, while nearly 62% showed vitamin D deficiency. Nearly 33% of celiac patients showed vitamin A deficiency. 
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    Source:
    BMC Pediatrics