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CourtneyLee

My Mum Wants To Sue?

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So I went out for lunch with my mum and her boyfriend on Sunday (both are not coeliacs). The place we went to, was on the coeliac society's ''safe list'' and is known for it's gluten free options.

I got a burger, that was claimed to be gluten free. Whilst eating it, I was thinking to myself that it tasted a bit too good to be gluten free.

Sure enough, Monday morning came, and the toilet has been my best friend, not to mention the excruciating pains in my stomach.

My mum now wants to sue the burger place, is she able to do this?

I think it's a bit farfetched, but I just want to get some other opinions :)

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Just my opinion, but if I were a restaurnt owner and got sued by someone who had a reaction to a gluten-free item from my menu, I would never attempt to serve another gluten-free food again. We would soon have no gluten-free options at all.

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Probaly can't. There is probably a discalimer on the menu in ittle print ab ut how they are a shared facility and can't guantee, stc. Also, good luck finiding a judge that would have any clue what you are talking about & rule in your favor.

The thing to do is call & talk to the manager. If its a big chain, email the corporate office.

Not really sure how a burger could "taste too good to be gluten-free". If you were served a bun & ate it that might be your problem. Most places don't have gluten-free buns. Hard to say as I don't know where you went or the menu.

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Not a prayer. And a bad idea to boot, IMO. And even if you did win, what would you get it of it? Enough to pay the lawyer?

richard

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I would ring manager and mention the incident and see what gets said. At most he can apologise to you and look into the matter. If they say gluten free on the menu, then it has to be gluten free. I agree there could be small writing somewhere on the menu. I think it's a bit much trying to sue the restaurant. I think people are too quick to sue everyone these days.

You might want to make sure you don't go back there just to be safe. So sorry you had experienced such problems x

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I also don't understand how a burger could taste "too good" to be gluten free. I make burgers all the time and have never put anything gluteny in them. Now if you mean the bun, could be. Personally I don't think you can sue for something like that. I'm sure there's a disclaimer somewhere on the menu. I might call the restaurant and talk to them, but that's it.

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Could have been food poisoning as in bad meat not necessarily due to gluten . Just a thought...

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I thought more about what it would take to successfully sue.

Probably wouldn't get rich. Probably have to sue in small claims court. Depending on your state, maximum awards are $2500-5000.

If you could prove that it was the meal that made you sick, not anything else (food poisioning from another meal, gluten from another meal, virus, etc) then you would probably be awarded your court costs (filing fee), price of your meal only, your hospital bills. You did go to the hospital, didn't you? Every good "suer" knows you have to have a hospital record. This is why, when a public bus rolls into a car at the intersection and causes $300 paint scratch to the car, They savy "suers" on the bus & in the car will insist on being transported to the hospital.

The best way to "punish" the restuaraunt is to talk to the manager & email the main company. Post the name & location here so your friends can avoid it. Only state the facts about what happened (so they don't have a case against you).

The fact is, that eeven at really good gluten-free places, accidents can happen. B)

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I think it's better to expand the options of places to eat than to limit them. Since the restaurant was on a "safe" list, the incident was probably an oversight. Instead of getting upset and threatening to sue, which could do a lot of harm and potentially giving the restaurant such distress that they stop offering gluten-free options, it's better to talk to the manager and let him know what happened. They can look into the problem and make sure they correct whatever went wrong so it doesn't happen again. Restaurants don't want to make their patrons sick. They want repeat business.

It's better to ensure that restaurants are working toward becoming more gluten-free capable by peacefully making the manager aware of problems and expecting them to fix whatever goes wrong. It's a learning experience for everyone.

Rants, tantrums, and threats only make people less likely to want to accommodate us.

I hope you are feeling better.

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I agree that people are too quick to threaten a lawsuit. I would call the restaurant and explain the seriousness of celiac and the need to be gluten free. It is going to be up to us celiacs to educate others. I know that until I was diagnosed I knew squat about gluten and the disease (same with my family as I'm the first official diagnosis). We need to get the word out there!

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Suing might not work. There is no standard for labeling foods gluten free in the USA. The FDA has not finalized one yet.

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Suing might not work. There is no standard for labeling foods gluten free in the USA. The FDA has not finalized one yet.

I agree with GF. But I have an even bigger concern.

As celiacs (and others with food issues), we want manufacturers to label clearly so that we can make informed decisions. A gluten-free label is helpful to me in that way. If companies get sued over gluten-free labels, well, it isn't a stretch to imagine that they will just stop putting the label on at all. After all, we are less than 2% of the market. If that happens, we all lose.

Educate, don't litigate.

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There is also the possibility that you were glutened by something else not the restaurant meal. Since reactions can be delayed by as much as 3 days to a week it would be very hard to prove that it was that particular meal that got you. Once that point is brought up by the restaurants attorney your chances of winning would be nil. I would talk to the manager of the place and explain what you suspect happened so the manager can talk to the staff to make things safer for the next person.

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I myself am really tired of restaurants falsely advertising gluten free foods.

Here in Australia, many restaurants and food service outlets offer gluten free menus. Many of these places then add fine print to disclaim that the items may contain traces of gluten.

I am taking a variety of companies to task on FALSE GLUTEN FREE ADVERTISING on my HubPages account and will continue to pursue the mission toward complete and accurate gluten free labelling. I have no intention of suing so don't get me wrong.

Domino's Pizza here in Australia begun offering gluten free pizza bases about a year ago and they have often gotten orders wrong due to careless 15-16 year olds not knowing about cross-contamination. They're trying I guess but the haven't really thought it through to a great extent.

However, here in Australia, it is ILLEGAL to claim a food item as gluten free unless the food item contains:

No Detectable Gluten

No Oats

No Malted Cereals containing Gluten

Some places have begun to use the "Gluten Friendly" label on their menus. This is also ILLEGAL in Australia as the only two terms permitted are "Gluten Free" or "Low Gluten".

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Domino's Pizza here in Australia begun offering gluten free pizza bases about a year ago and they have often gotten orders wrong due to careless 15-16 year olds not knowing about cross-contamination. They're trying I guess but the haven't really thought it through to a great extent.

I think this really falls under the umbrella of common sense. Any restaurant can offer gluten-free food, but using common sense, would a Celiac trust 16 year olds working at Dominos to make them a gluten-free pizza? I think not...I HOPE not!

We still need to be on guard whenever we eat - either dining out or using food that we buy. It's up to us individually to keep ourselves safe and use common sense. Pizza from a local mom-and-pop who use dedicated area and is supervised or made by the owner? I might do that. Made at Dominos by employees making minimum wage? No way!!!

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I myself am really tired of restaurants falsely advertising gluten free foods.

Here in Australia, many restaurants and food service outlets offer gluten free menus. Many of these places then add fine print to disclaim that the items may contain traces of gluten.

I am taking a variety of companies to task on FALSE GLUTEN FREE ADVERTISING on my HubPages account and will continue to pursue the mission toward complete and accurate gluten free labelling. I have no intention of suing so don't get me wrong.

Domino's Pizza here in Australia begun offering gluten free pizza bases about a year ago and they have often gotten orders wrong due to careless 15-16 year olds not knowing about cross-contamination. They're trying I guess but the haven't really thought it through to a great extent.

However, here in Australia, it is ILLEGAL to claim a food item as gluten free unless the food item contains:

No Detectable Gluten

No Oats

No Malted Cereals containing Gluten

Some places have begun to use the "Gluten Friendly" label on their menus. This is also ILLEGAL in Australia as the only two terms permitted are "Gluten Free" or "Low Gluten".

I no longer eat out, but last year my family went to a few such restaurants and were a little confused as to why I decided not to order anything. As far as Domino's goes - I believe that they use the same pans/trays for all pizzas. If this is correct, it would mean that the dough itself is gluten free, and as long as the toppings are gluten free (which, not all of them are), and no cc of them has occurred, as soon as the dough is laid out on the pizza tray, there is the chance of cc depending on how clean and undamaged (scratches etc) the tray is.

(This is just what I've heard from someone who has worked there, so it's not absolute fact, and they did mention that when someone orders a gluten-free pizza, the order comes up in red so the staff should know to take special care. With all the regular flour flying around though, giving up pizza seemed like a great idea to me, even before I was told these things.)

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I myself am really tired of restaurants falsely advertising gluten free foods.

Here in Australia, many restaurants and food service outlets offer gluten free menus. Many of these places then add fine print to disclaim that the items may contain traces of gluten.

I am taking a variety of companies to task on FALSE GLUTEN FREE ADVERTISING on my HubPages account and will continue to pursue the mission toward complete and accurate gluten free labelling. I have no intention of suing so don't get me wrong.

Domino's Pizza here in Australia begun offering gluten free pizza bases about a year ago and they have often gotten orders wrong due to careless 15-16 year olds not knowing about cross-contamination. They're trying I guess but the haven't really thought it through to a great extent.

However, here in Australia, it is ILLEGAL to claim a food item as gluten free unless the food item contains:

No Detectable Gluten

No Oats

No Malted Cereals containing Gluten

Some places have begun to use the "Gluten Friendly" label on their menus. This is also ILLEGAL in Australia as the only two terms permitted are "Gluten Free" or "Low Gluten".

The problem is your inflammatory language. You can "take them to task" and use words like ILLEGAL in all caps and "false advertising" but sadly this type of overreaction is just going to screw every single celiac in your country. Restaurants do not have to accommodate food allergies and celiac disease. If I owned a restaurant, honestly I may not bother to accommodate, especially if it was ILLEGAL to serve things with any trace of gluten and I could get sued or get fined or have some other nasty thing happen that makes it hard for me to do business. If I was going to go out of business because of some pissed off celiac I'd put gluten in every single item and say no gluten free to cover my ass.

Why get nasty and belligerent? If you want to champion the issue, be informative. Be proactive. Call restaurants personally. Make an informative, factual and professional handout and give it to restaurant managers where problems have happened. Do something POSITIVE so that restaurants will keep accommodating us.

It doesn't just affect other people in your country either. If I travel to Australia, I want restaurants that will offer gluten free options. I don't want to be relegated to buying fruit and meat at the grocery store because people were sue happy and restaurants quit serving gluten free.

It really angers me when celiacs (who are TWO PERCENT of the population. That's 2 percent!) get up in arms, threaten to sue businesses and use inflammatory language because you are screwing ME over. Every single one of you who feels ENTITLED to have a restaurant bend over backwards for you and acts like a jerk to the restaurant or manager puts one more knife in the restaurants' back until they say no more. All they have to do is say "None of our items are gluten free" and we are out of restaurants to eat in.

It also ticks me off when people go in like a bull in a china shop and act rude when ordering. Be NICE. Explain in simple terms. Don't demand. ASK. I have NEVER had a restaurant refuse to help me except one time when the manager was gone and they were worried that they wouldn't do it right. Even then they were very nice about it. I ask nicely. I am polite. I keep explanations brief. I don't grill them and make them uncomfortable.

I eat out a lot, maybe 5 to 6 times per week sometimes and I am VERY sensitive to CC. And yet I hardly ever get glutened. Because I'm NICE and I get people to WANT to help me out. I get them to want to take care of me and want me to come back because I'm not a pain in their ass. I have one place near me where the manager comes over and makes sure my order is right every single time. And I give him big smiles, thank him profusely and make him happy that he accommodated a celiac in his restaurant.

Make them WANT to help us. We do NOT represent huge buying power. Sorry folks but we don't.

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I no longer eat out, but last year my family went to a few such restaurants and were a little confused as to why I decided not to order anything. As far as Domino's goes - I believe that they use the same pans/trays for all pizzas. If this is correct, it would mean that the dough itself is gluten free, and as long as the toppings are gluten free (which, not all of them are), and no cc of them has occurred, as soon as the dough is laid out on the pizza tray, there is the chance of cc depending on how clean and undamaged (scratches etc) the tray is.

(This is just what I've heard from someone who has worked there, so it's not absolute fact, and they did mention that when someone orders a gluten-free pizza, the order comes up in red so the staff should know to take special care. With all the regular flour flying around though, giving up pizza seemed like a great idea to me, even before I was told these things.)

I appreciate Domino's for trying, but honestly I think it's a bit ridiculous to order pizza from a big chain like Domino's and expect not to be CC'd. There is just no way with the speed they work and the flour everywhere. If you are sensitive like most of us are, why on earth would you even attempt to eat Domino's?

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I appreciate Domino's for trying, but honestly I think it's a bit ridiculous to order pizza from a big chain like Domino's and expect not to be CC'd. There is just no way with the speed they work and the flour everywhere. If you are sensitive like most of us are, why on earth would you even attempt to eat Domino's?

I agree - that's why I don't attempt to eat Domino's. I was responding to Kelly's post about business in Australia. Above I mentioned that I'd been to some restaurants and decided not to order, (this was based on my own health requirements and the ability of the business to offer safe food etc) but none of those were named. Then I offered some information that I'd received about Domino's, from someone who knows I cannot eat gluten, and who works at this chain.

I also appreciate that Domino's have worked with the Coeliac Society to try to do what they can, but that's their part. On my part, being responsible and trying to look after my health, I agree - I'd never take that risk.

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I myself am really tired of restaurants falsely advertising gluten free foods.

Here in Australia, many restaurants and food service outlets offer gluten free menus. Many of these places then add fine print to disclaim that the items may contain traces of gluten.

I am taking a variety of companies to task on FALSE GLUTEN FREE ADVERTISING on my HubPages account and will continue to pursue the mission toward complete and accurate gluten free labelling. I have no intention of suing so don't get me wrong.

Domino's Pizza here in Australia begun offering gluten free pizza bases about a year ago and they have often gotten orders wrong due to careless 15-16 year olds not knowing about cross-contamination. They're trying I guess but the haven't really thought it through to a great extent.

However, here in Australia, it is ILLEGAL to claim a food item as gluten free unless the food item contains:

No Detectable Gluten

No Oats

No Malted Cereals containing Gluten

Some places have begun to use the "Gluten Friendly" label on their menus. This is also ILLEGAL in Australia as the only two terms permitted are "Gluten Free" or "Low Gluten".

Oh wow I was posting from my phone and I couldn't see your avatar. I applaud your efforts, but wow I cannot imagine your protesting and approach trying to make things illegal is going to get you anywhere. My word if I owned a restaurant and saw you coming I would do everything in my power to NEVER ever try to help someone with an allergy. I'd just cover it all in wheat and peanuts and name my restaurant "Full of Wheat and Peanuts" so you couldn't harass me, sue me, sick the government on me, or put me out of business.

I'm all for freedom of commerce and making businesses thrive so countries can thrive and when you start making gluten illegal and punishing them for trying to help us.... God help us all. I feel sorry for those poor restaurant owners trying to do the right thing and add gluten free options and now they are getting bit in the butt for it.

I said it in another post and I will say it again. We are a small minority. We do not represent buying power, big money nor do we represent large voting power. We rely on the kindness of their hearts to want to help us out with gluten free items.

The companies that make gluten free products are usually doing so because they or a family member have celiac or autism. Yes they make money, but you won't see any of them being the major players in the food industry. Bob's Red Mill is pretty big but they also cater to the gourmet health good gluten eater types.

There are a lot of gluten free beauty products out there but companies won't say so because they are afraid of liability.

We have so much to lose. I wish people would rethink their strategies. I don't want people "on my side" making my life more difficult and limiting my choices. Please.

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I've only been diagnosed as coeliac for two months but so far I've had really good response when eating out. We're regulars at a local restaurant and the first time I went post diagnosis I told the waiting staff and asked them to check with the chef if I could have my favourite drambuie sauce. The chef came out told me that I couldn't have the sauce or my normal salad dressing but that he could make me alternatives. He then came out and checked that I liked it. I was so appreciate and all the waiting staff now automatically say that they'll check with the chef. The chef is pleased that I'm still enjoying his food and still going to his restaurant. He's even given me tips on gluten free cooking and sauces home with me.

I've also had 2 similar experiences at places where I'm not a regular customer. Went to an Italian restaurant in Glasgow and when the waiter took my order into the kitchen(in open view of tables)the chef clapped his hands and gathered kitchen staff around. Informed him that there was coeliac in and that this section of kitchen was not to be used by anyone else to prevent cross-contamination. I thanked staff profusely and told them what a difference this makes to coeliacs.

Last night I was at a Pink Floyd Tribute band gig. The venue does a meal + ticket deal which allows you in 2 hours before doors open to tickets only. We'd bought the tickets before I was diagnosed and I was anxious about it. On gig nights they don't do full menu but a set menus with a choice of 4 starters and mains and 3 desserts. I contacted the booking agency and informed them of my diagnosis. When I got there the waitress was very apologetic that there was only one starter I could have but the chef had just prepared soup for tomorrow which was gluten free, which I could have. The chef had ordered in a gluten free desert from a local baker. I asked her to thank the chef and once again he came out at the end of the meal to speak to me and gave me a recipe for gluten and dairy free muffins.

I agree with sandsurfgirl

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I've only been diagnosed as coeliac for two months but so far I've had really good response when eating out. We're regulars at a local restaurant and the first time I went post diagnosis I told the waiting staff and asked them to check with the chef if I could have my favourite drambuie sauce. The chef came out told me that I couldn't have the sauce or my normal salad dressing but that he could make me alternatives. He then came out and checked that I liked it. I was so appreciate and all the waiting staff now automatically say that they'll check with the chef. The chef is pleased that I'm still enjoying his food and still going to his restaurant. He's even given me tips on gluten free cooking and sauces home with me.

I've also had 2 similar experiences at places where I'm not a regular customer. Went to an Italian restaurant in Glasgow and when the waiter took my order into the kitchen(in open view of tables)the chef clapped his hands and gathered kitchen staff around. Informed him that there was coeliac in and that this section of kitchen was not to be used by anyone else to prevent cross-contamination. I thanked staff profusely and told them what a difference this makes to coeliacs.

Last night I was at a Pink Floyd Tribute band gig. The venue does a meal + ticket deal which allows you in 2 hours before doors open to tickets only. We'd bought the tickets before I was diagnosed and I was anxious about it. On gig nights they don't do full menu but a set menus with a choice of 4 starters and mains and 3 desserts. I contacted the booking agency and informed them of my diagnosis. When I got there the waitress was very apologetic that there was only one starter I could have but the chef had just prepared soup for tomorrow which was gluten free, which I could have. The chef had ordered in a gluten free desert from a local baker. I asked her to thank the chef and once again he came out at the end of the meal to speak to me and gave me a recipe for gluten and dairy free muffins.

I agree with sandsurfgirl

Thanks! I love stories like that. People generally don't want to be responsible for making someone sick.

I have so many stories like that. We went to a brunch buffet for a family celebration. I was so worried about it. The chef (a very hot chef I might add) came down and gave me a tour of the entire buffet, went over ingredients with me and told me what I could eat. I was able to eat most of what was on the buffet and they just happened to have flourless macaroons because the chef liked the recipe. So I even got cookies.

One time a waiter glutened me by bringing me the wrong food. It was on my birthday even and I was vomiting in their bathroom for 45 minutes. The assistant manager stayed in the bathroom with me the entire time and took care of me. The waiter helped my husband take care of our kids so he could come check on me. The waiter has a degree in marketing and he found out I own a struggling small business when chatting with my husband. To make up for his mistake, he met with me and gave me marketing strategies and helped me revamp my website for FREE. That was in December and we still keep in touch. Anytime I have a question or need something, I just email him and he helps me out. So that awful glutening turned into a HUGE positive for me because I wasn't an ass. I was crying and vomiting but I didn't curse and scream at the waiter or threaten to sue them. They also gave me $100 in gift cards for the restaurant and of course did not charge for our quite expensive meal.

Did the glutening suck? YES! Heck yeah! I was crawling out of my skin that night. I get debilitating anxiety attacks from gluten. But... it still paid to be nice even after that incident. The waiter actually had tears in his eyes. He felt horrible. A lawyer friend asked if I wanted to sue and I said no. They did enough to compensate me. If I sued them all I would do is screw everyone else over when they got rid of their gluten free menu.

The restaurant was Outback, a celiac fave. I seriously doubt anyone on here wants Outback to quit taking care of us!

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These posts are very heart-warming, and I take all the above comments very seriously. I had absolutely no intention to sue any business as such, I just believed exposing the fact that they were breaching a common law would gain better understanding of the strict 'gluten free' regulations that apply to all products sold in Australia (this includes food service/restaurant products).

The waiter actually had tears in his eyes. He felt horrible.

I was recently "glutened" by a restaurant here in Australia and was VERY disappointed about the service I received.

First off, I asked whether the Hash Browns were gluten free. They said yes. I then asked if they were cooked in the same fryer as their breaded items. I found the manager to be quite a typical Aussie hick in his nature and he made an expression like "hmmm... well, look. There's a very little bit of gluten in there. I mean... er, that very little bit of gluten... I guess you have to decide but I really don't think it's a problem. Just about every celiac who comes through the door orders them with no questions or concerns at all. Avoid it if you must, but really, I think it's a bit of an overkill thing to worry about."

This restaurant offers gluten free bread baked on premises every day. Unfortunately, however, they use the same condiment/butter pots for *everything* and I ordered an omelette with toast. During the course of eating my omelette, I suddenly found some buried croutons (they must have dropped in it) which were smashed in it! As soon as I discovered this, I immediately informed the manager. He said that the omelette was baked in an oven that a soup was being warmed in, and something must have fallen off. I think he was telling a fib :rolleyes:

In the end, I left the restaurant and there were two others who dined with me. Their meals were charged but mine wasn't. Mind you this was in a very BACKWARD area of the country. Had I been manager, I would have made the meal for the whole table an 'on the house' event and would have given each participant with the person a $20 complimentary meal voucher. This was VERY poor service when it was NOT busy and as a result, I shall NEVER return. :angry:

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I can remember a regular poster on the celiac listserv from a few years back who swore that the ONLY way to eat out was to be aggressive and threatening from the start. Assume that they'll be careless and idiots and go from there. And she swore she NEVER got glutened.

Right. I don't think so. Be wary, but be kind.

richard

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Back to the OP, how were things listen on the gluten-free menu? I know at outback the burgers are gluten free as long as you ask for it not on a bun. Did the menu say anything about having to make changes to an item for it to be gluten-free? Or that the things were naturally gluten free. Also, if CC is a significant issue, I would go as far as to ask the server to cook your meats in foil. Cooking grilled meats in foil is something that not all servers may know enough to do. Especially, if it's not an alteration that's printed on the menu.

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