Fowl intent: Fort Greene shelter residents sue city for $8 Million over rancid chicken salad

Shelter residents Maurice Caballero, Rose Rodriguez, Pierre Landro and Kenneth Gilmore claim they were fed expired chicken salad at a Fort Greene homeless shelter. Photo by Ben Verde

Four residents of a Fort Greene homeless shelter are suing the city for $2 Million — each — for allegedly serving them rancid chicken salad, according to an attorney representing the victims.

The residents say they fell violently ill after eating chicken salad served at the Auburn Place shelter on Oct. 24. The meal had expired a month before, but someone had slapped more recent expiration date on the packaging, according to one plaintiff.

“Even today I still have symptoms of food poisoning in my stomach,” said Kenneth Gilmore, a resident of the shelter who is named in the complaint. “I feel terribly bad.” 

The victims are also suing Sally Sherman Foods, which made the salad and Whitsons Food Services, which delivered it. The attorney representing the residents, Sanford Rubinstein, has recommended the Brooklyn District Attorney open a criminal investigation into the shelter operators, which he says are liable for reckless endangerment.

The residents claim employees of the shelter laughed at them while they violently vomited.

“The staff is there basically making jokes about the situation,” said Pierre Landro, a plaintiff in the lawsuit. “I said ‘I’m glad you that you guys find this hilarious, while there’s people outside sick.’”

This is not the first time the Fort Greene shelter has come under fire. The district attorney convicted a former employee of the shelter of forcible touching and sexual abuse for groping residents of the shelter on multiple occasions.

The Department of Homeless Services has stopped accepting food from Sally Sherman pending review, according to a spokesperson.

“We are not accepting food from Sally Sherman until further notice,” said Arianna Fishmann. “We sincerely apologize for the occurrence and will hold the vendor that provides food at this location fully accountable.”

All four of the plaintiffs are still residents of the shelter, where they say the very act of eating has become a source of constant anxiety.

“When I even attempt to go into the cafeteria now I get panic attacks — I feel as though this will continue,” said Gilmore. “If we did not discover it, it would still be going on.”

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