After Kangadis Food Inc. filed for bankruptcy claiming that putative class litigation challenging its alleged misleading olive oil representations has cost the company, which does business as The Gourmet Factory, more than $1.4 million in attorney’s fees and could cost an additional $750,000 if the claims go to trial, the named plaintiffs filed class claims against its owners in a New York federal court. Ebin v.Kangadis Family Mgmt. LLC, No. 14-1324 (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y., filed June 11, 2014).
The heavily redacted complaint alleges that these individuals were directly involved in trying to pass off pomace oil, processed from olive oil residue, as “100% Pure Olive Oil” under the Capatriti brand. Details about the litigation appear in Issue 515 of this Update.
One of the individuals named as a defendant in the new lawsuit—identified as Aristidis Kangadis—apparently evaded deposition when the company’s counsel argued to the court that he “is a 73 year old gentleman who is not identified in the Defendants’ Disclosures or other discovery responses as having knowledge of the relevant facts. He is … uninvolved with the business.
He has no official role in the company.” The plaintiffs do not apparently agree, alleging “In fact, Aristidis Kangadis…” with the following 10 pages redacted. Additional allegations regarding piercing the corporate veil and alter ego are also redacted.
Alleging breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, deceptive acts or practices under New York law, violation of New Jersey’s consumer fraud law, negligent misrepresentation, and fraud, the plaintiffs seek the certification of a nationwide class of purchasers.