By: Shernoff Bidart Echeverria LLP
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Trader Joe’s Sued by Vendors Alleging Grocery Chain Employed Unethical Business Practices
Lawsuit accuses Monrovia-based corporation of manipulative business practices, breaking contracts and intentionally interfering with vendor relationships
July 11, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA – A lawsuit was filed against Trader Joe’s by companies who sell ice cream and other dairy products accusing the Monrovia-based grocery chain of systematically eliminating companies from the marketplace.
The lawsuit alleges Trader Joe’s coerced product suppliers and manufacturers in order to get those companies to cancel contracts with Natural Dairy Products and Dairy Smart Inc. The grievances listed in the complaint includes: intentional interference with contractual relations; unjust enrichment, breach of contract, and acting in bad faith.
“Our clients helped build Trader Joe’s ice cream products which generated tremendous revenues for the grocer,” said attorney Ricardo Echeverria. “Once TJ’s decided it would be more profitable doing business without Natural Dairy Products and Dairy Smart they purposefully railroaded their business relationships.”
The principals of Natural Dairy Products (NDP) had done business with Trader Joe’s for over 30 years, and NDP as a company had been doing business with TJ’s since 2005. NDP helped Trader Joe’s obtain better products from the ice cream manufacturers. Dairy Smart acted as a broker for TJ’s for dairy products including yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, and butter. After Trader Joe’s wrongfully interfered with the contractual and prospective economic relationship between Dairy Smart, NDP and their vendors, all of these vendor companies ceased working with both of NDP and Dairy Smart. This occurred on or around March of 2013. As a result of Trader Joes’ actions, both companies suffered severe financial losses.
“Trader Joe’s relied on our clients to do the difficult work of getting quality manufacturers and then TJ’s left NDP and Dairy Smart high and dry,” said attorney Bruce Voss. “Our clients deserved better after the decades of combined years they helped Trader Joe’s become a household name.”
The case is Natural Dairy Products, Dairy Smart v Trader Joe’s, Case No. BC550578 filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on July 02, 2014.
About Shernoff Bidart Echeverria LLP
Shernoff Bidart Echeverria LLP leads the nation in protecting policyholders from insurance company abuse. The firm has been protecting the rights of insurance consumers, both individuals and businesses, for over 40 years after having set the legal precedent requiring insurance companies to act in good faith.
About Bruce Voss
Mr. Voss is an AV Rated attorney with over 40 years of experience representing business and individuals in civil litigation throughout California and the United States.