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November 18th, 2021

FCOP 2021 Accomplishments

One of Ferguson Case Orr Paterson’s 2021 accomplishments was the Court of Appeal decision upholding the $23.3 million verdict Ferguson Case attorneys won two years earlier on behalf of Ventura County-based Underwood Ranches. For 28 years, Underwood Ranches supplied jalapeño peppers to Huy Fong, a manufacturer of Sriracha hot sauce. But despite the family-like relationship that developed between the two companies, Huy Fong made secret plans to stop buying peppers from Underwood Ranches even while urging Underwood to invest more money in pepper-growing operations. When Huy Fong abruptly terminated its contract, Underwood suddenly faced imminent financial catastrophe.

In 2019, a unanimous jury found that Huy Fong breached its contract and defrauded Underwood Ranches. The trial court awarded Underwood Ranches $13.3 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. The appellate court rejected all of Huy Fong’s attacks on the judgment in a published opinion, Huy Fong Foods, Inc. v. Underwood Ranches, LP (2021) 66 Cal.App.5th 1112  ..

For more information about the case, contact Jim McDermott or Mike Velthoen .

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