Albertson's LLC and Albertson's Holdings has filed a lawsuit against Haggen Holdings for more than $40 million in inventory.
The retail chain filed a 16-page complaint in state court last week.
"As of July 17, 2015, Haggen is past due for the inventory purchase price for 32 acquired stores, which amount totals $36,177,057," the complaint states, according to the Courthouse News Service. "Another $4,926,999 will be past due on July 21, 2015, for the final six stores acquired."
According to the report, there are existing claims from both parties about violations. While Albertson’s filed its suit on the grounds that Haggen agreed to pay for store inventory within 30 days when purchasing 99 Albertson's and 47 Safeway stores, the retailer lists in the complaint that Haggen paid for the stock in 108 stores but refused to keep up its end of the bargain for the remaining 38.
On the other side, Deborah Pleva, Communications Consultant for Haggen, told Courthouse News Service that it notified Albertson’s of violations of its obligations under the parties' purchase agreement, “and possibly the related FTC consent decree and orders and requirements of state attorneys general.”
"It is unfortunate Albertsons has chosen to file what appears to be nothing more than a strike suit to avoid addressing its wrongful conduct,” Pleva wrote, according to the report, having stated that the retailer hoped the two could address the issues amicably. “Haggen will mount a vigorous defense and aggressively prosecute its counterclaims.”
Albertson’s Spokesman Carlos Illingworth told Courthouse News that the retailer doesn’t comment on pending litigation, however the 16-page complaint does address Haggen’s claims. In it, the claim states that having waited until days after the final stores were acquired, without any previous notice, “but despite having such alleged knowledge as early as Feb. 26, 2015 and possibly earlier to levy baseless claims, mostly with broad and unsupported generalized allegations, in justification of a $41,104,056 holdback, reflects its fraudulent and bad faith intent."
According to the report, Albertson’s is seeking actual and punitive damages, attorneys' fees, and costs, and is represented by David Jacobs of Epstein Becker & Green. Haggen did not state what it would seek in prosecuting its counterclaims.
Deli Market News will keep you up to date on this story as it develops.