April 2012

Hormel Foods Wins $4M Jury Verdict

United States - Minnesota

Our firm served as lead trial counsel for the plaintiff Hormel Foods in obtaining a $4 million jury verdict. Hormel sought damages sustained to food products owned by Hormel and stored in Crystal’s warehouse. In June 2008, floodwater entered the warehouse, damaging meat products stored in the lower level. Crystal asserted Act of God and commercial impracticability as defenses. Crystal further asserted that its warehouse receipts, which limited its liability, were controlling over the parties’ warehouse agreement, which compelled indemnification. Finally, Crystal asserted that Hormel should be barred from recovering more than its $1 million insurance retention, because it had been paid over $3 million of the loss by its carriers. Crystal’s defenses were rejected, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Hormel, and the Court entered judgment against Crystal in the amount of $4,016,126. The post-trial order is available at 2012 WL 2499509. Hormel Foods Corporation v. Crystal Distribution Services, Inc., No. C09 2011 (N.D. Iowa 2012).

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