November 18th, 2021
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 https://casetext.com/case/huy-fong-foods-inc-v-underwood-ranches-lp ..
For more information about the case, contact Jim McDermott https://www.fcoplaw.com/attorneys/james-mcdermott/ or Mike Velthoen https://www.fcoplaw.com/attorneys/michael-velthoen/ .