Like those pictures of garbage piling up in the streets of Beirut, the stacks of dirty dishes that were left when the Fig & Olive restaurant chain lost its hot water at its West Hollywood location this past Nov. 17-18 don’t look too appealing. Without hot water, the Fig & Olive on Melrose Place was forced to closed down for 24 hours. It was probably then that most of the unflattering pictures were snapped. They became part of a profile by the Washington City Paper newspaper on Fig & Olive. It focuses on recent layoffs at the restaurants along with the ongoing litigation against Fig & Olive by customers who last year became victims of a Salmonella outbreak. Fig & Olive executives have declined to put any precise numbers on the layoffs. The Mediterranean-style restaurant has acknowledged its business has not recovered to pre-outbreaks levels. It is not filling a food and beverage manager position at this time. Seattle food safety attorney, Bill Marler, says as many as 50 cases are in the pipeline, and a federal court has set Aug. 31 as a deadline for discovery. Fig & Olive personnel have declined to comment on the lawsuits. Some of the laid off employees are not holding back on their opinions. “These guys only are about money,” one told the Washington City Paper. Editor’s note: Attorney Bill Marler is a partner of Marler Clark LLP and is publisher of Food Safety News.