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Celiac.com 06/08/2010 - Paul Seelig of Durham, owner of Great Specialty Products; a bread company that claimed to manufacture gluten-free bread which actually contained gluten and made many people sick, is now facing additional indictments for false murder implications. Selling, 48, is facing nine felony fraud charges for selling gluten contaminated bread which he claimed was gluten-free. People began complaining about Seelig's bread products after getting sick from them, which led state state officials to close Seelig's business in January, and arrest Seelig on criminal charges in February. In March, State School Board member Kathy Taft was raped and left for dead. She later died, and almost two months after that Jason K. Williford was charged with Kathy Taft's rape and murder. Prosecutors said that Seelig volunteered information about Taft's killer to barter for reducing or dismissing his felony charges. Seelig implicated a former co-worker who was entirely innocent, and had no connection to Taft's murder. On Monday, Seelig was expected to plead guilty to his felony charges and accept a plea deal, but he refused. Instead, Wake Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens arraigned Seelig on felony charges, is seeking additional indictments against Seelig for false murder accusations, and at the prosecutors request raised Seelig's bond to 750,000. Sources: NewsObserver.com News-Record.com
Celiac.com 05/03/2013 - Would you fork over five dollars just for browsing in a store? More and more brick and mortar stores are fighting against a practice called 'showrooming,' where consumers visit a store to view an item in person before buying it online. Charging a fee to visitors who do not buy anything is one new strategy in that fight. Adelaidenow.com.au reports that Brisbane-based Celiac Supplies, a gluten-free specialty food store in Australia, recently announced that it will charge customers $5 for browsing. The money will be refunded when the customers purchase an item. In an article that appeared on the Consumerist.com website, the store-owner, who gave her name only as Georgina, says that she implemented the fee to curb “showrooming.” Her store has seen a "high volume of people who use this store as a reference and then purchase goods elsewhere," according to a note, a photo of which appeared on Reddit.com Georgina's note adds that the showroomers she complains about "are unaware our prices are almost the same as the other stores plus we have products simply not available anywhere else.” The note closes by saying that the $5 fee “is in line with many other clothing, shoe, and electronic stores" that also face the same problem. Georgina told the website that she spent hours giving advice to as many as 60 people per week, who would go into the store, ask questions, and then leave without buying anything. “I’ve had a gut full of working and not getting paid,” Georgina was quoted as saying. “I’m not here to dispense a charity service for Coles and Woolworths to make more money.”
Celiac.com 05/22/2017 - After their seven-month-old baby died weighing less than 10 pounds, a mother and father in Beveren, Belgium, are standing trial on charges that they starved the child by negligently providing an alternative gluten-free diet, with no medical supervision. The couple, who ran a natural food store, put their son Lucas on an alternative gluten-free, lactose-free diet, which included quinoa milk, despite doctors describing it as unsuitable for developing infants. According to child gastroenterologist Elisabeth De Greef, from the University Hospital of Brussels, feeding quinoa milk and other such foods to infants is absolutely wrong. She says that "These kinds of milk, which you can buy in a supermarket, do not contain the necessary proteins, minerals and vitamins. They are not adjusted to infants and thus unsuitable." Lucas' mother said in a statement that "Lucas had an eating disorder. He got cramps when he was fed with a bottle and his parents tried out alternatives. Oat milk, rice milk, buckwheat milk, semolina milk, quinoa milk." These are all products the couple sold at their store. At the beginning of the trial, public prosecutors blamed the couple for their son's death. Prosecutors claim that the couple made their "own diagnosis that their child was gluten intolerant and had a lactose allergy," without any input from doctors. In fact, prosecutors allege that the couple kept the child away from doctors altogether. "Not a single doctor had a dossier about Lucas and child protection services did not know about them," said the public prosecutor. The infant's diet, said prosecutors, "led to him being less than half the expected weight for a boy his age," at the time of his death in June 6, 2014. An autopsy showed that Lucas' stomach was totally empty at the time of his death. Prosecutors say the parents did not seek medical attention, even when Lucas was gasping for air in the days before he died. When Lucas was in the final throes of starvation, and the parents finally did take action, prosecutors say that they compounded the child's medical crisis by driving to a homeopathic doctor on the other side of the country, instead of going to the nearest hospital. In their defense, Lucas's father, claimed the couple never took Lucas to a doctor "because we never noticed anything unusual." In fact, the parents believed Lucas had an eating problem, says the couple's lawyer. Under questioning, Lucas' tearful mother said that the couple never "wished for the death of our son." She also stated that Lucas ometimes…gained a little weight, sometimes he lost a little." Yet according the public prosecutor the actions by the couple amount to "intentionally denying food" to the boy. For now, the trial in this tragic case continues, with a verdict set for June 14. Read more: Metro.co.uk
Celiac.com 02/02/2015 - On December 9th, 2014, Anna Marie Phillips filed a lawsuit in Santa Clara County Superior Court against P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc., headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, for discrimination and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The suit claims that P.F. Chang's forces people with celiac disease to pay higher prices for gluten-free versions of their menu items. According to the complaint, P.F. Chang's charges one extra dollar per gluten-free item, however, they do not add these surcharges on to their regular menu items. The lawsuit is seeking class action status, and claims that over the past four years more than 3,000 people in 39 states have been affected at P.F. Chang's 204 restaurants. The plaintiff claims that the gluten-free diet is medically necessary for those with celiac disease, and those who eat at P.F. Chang's are forced to pay higher prices for gluten-free dishes, even if the dishes they order are naturally gluten-free. The plaintiff asserts that this arbitrary and unequal treatment constitues discrimination against consumers who have celiac disease and gluten intolerance, and that the added surcharge is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In the lawsuit Ms. Phillips and her attorneys, Anthony J. Orshansky and Justin Kachadoorian of Counselone, P.C. in Beverly Hills, California, seek an immediate injunction against any further surcharges on gluten-free items, civil penalties, compensatory damages and punitive damages. P.F. Chang's is represented by Jon P. Karbassakis and Michael K. Grimaldi of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, in Los Angeles, California. On January 23, 2015, P.F. Chang's removed the case to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (case number 5:15-cv-00344). Source: legalnewsline.com