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Inmates Olive Oil Suit Declined

October 22, 1997

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A panel of judges declined to grease the wheels of justice for an inmate who sued a company because his bottle of olive oil came up short.

Convicted money launderer Keith Maydak has a lot of time on his hands these days _ including time to drain a 10-ounce bottle of Bartolacci Private Stock Olive Oil to see whether it contained 128 tablespoon servings, as the label advertised.

Maydak sued olive-oil bottler Capital Enterprises, claiming their bottles contained only about 20 or 21 tablespoons of oil.

``We find this case extremely hard to digest,″ a panel of Superior Court judges wrote in dismissing Maydak’s lawsuit Friday. ``Not every minor inconvenience is actionable.″

Maydak, 26, of East McKeesport in suburban Pittsburgh, is serving an eight-year federal prison term in Cumberland, Md., for wire fraud, money laundering and access-device fraud. He was convicted in 1994 of attempting to bilk AT&T Corp. of more than $550,000.

He said Monday that he’s learning to cook at the medium-security prison and uses the olive oil to make spaghetti sauce. He said he has spent $1,600 on olive oil at $3 a bottle over the past 18 months.

Maydak said he planned to ask for a rehearing in Superior Court, and if denied, he wants to take the case to the state Supreme Court.

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