RI Grows, I’m Sure It Will Be Different For You
This is a lawsuit about a business dispute between a tomato grower and a tomato merchant. The grower is SunSelect Produce (California), Inc. (“SunSelect”) and the merchant is Mastronardi International Limited (“Mastronardi”). SunSelect and Mastronardi entered into a written agreement wherein SunSelect would grow tomatoes exclusively for Mastronardi and Mastronardi would purchase the tomatoes from SunSelect. After the agreement was entered into, the parties quarreled about the other’s performance or lack thereof under the agreement. Mastronardi then filed this lawsuit, alleging and pleading that SunSelect violated the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (“PACA”). Shortly after Mastronardi filed this lawsuit, SunSelect initiated an arbitration proceeding in Canada against Mastronardi. In the arbitration, SunSelect claimed that Mastronardi breached the agreement by, first, failing to pay SunSelect for delivered tomatoes and, second, publicly disclosing information in the agreement that the parties were contractually required to keep confidential. SunSelect also claimed in the arbitration that Mastronardi made material misrepresentations to SunSelect while the two parties were negotiating and entering into the agreement.