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Chiquita Wins In Federal Suit
Cincinnati-based produce company Chiquita has won a federal suit over a pricing dispute. The win has saved the company at least $8 million.
Two melon farms in Honduras sued Chiquita in a U.S. District Court for what they claimed was unfair pricing on their products towards the end of the growing season. An eight-person jury found in favor of the defendant, Chiquita, on all 11 claims.
“Even though the plaintiffs threw a ‘kitchen sink’ of specious claims at Chiquita – like fraudulent inducement and violations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act – the jury quickly saw them for what they were: desperate attempts to extort more money from the company,” said Michael Cioffi, chief trial lawyer for law firm Blank Rome LLP, which represented Chiquita in the case.
The suit centered on an agreement between Chiquita and the farms that was signed in 2001. Chiquita sold the remaining fruits of that growing season for less than the original market price. Company officials said such an agreement was stipulated in the contract.