CHATTANOOGA, TENN. — Aryzta, L.L.C. on Dec. 30, 2019, filed a motion with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga that would require McKee Foods Corp. to provide financial information related to a lawsuit filed by McKee back in 2017.
McKee sued Aryzta in 2017 for an alleged breach of contract. In the 2017 lawsuit, McKee said it lost millions of dollars in profits after a raid by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency at Aryzta’s Cloverhill production facilities near Chicago prompted a mass exodus in labor and, by extension, led to a disruption in McKee’s supply chain.
At the time, Aryzta said the loss of 800 workers at Cloverhill was outside its control and that the employees at the facilities had been supplied by a third-party work agency.
Now, in its Dec. 30 filing, Aryzta has alleged McKee of taking “an obstructionist position” by refusing to provide relevant information after the termination of the companies’ original manufacturing agreement (O.M.A.) dated Aug. 18, 2017.
“Aryzta has clearly articulated why the information sought is relevant and made multiple demands that such information be provided,” Aryzta said. “McKee has consistently refused. Because McKee has turned this proceeding into a war of attrition by refusing to produce relevant evidence that goes to the heart of any potential damages calculation, court intervention is required.”
Specifically, Aryzta said it is seeking sales and financial information on the products McKee sold to customers who were buying Aryzta products before and after it terminated the O.M.A. to determine how (and if) McKee was damaged. Aryzta also is seeking documents substantiating the fines and penalties McKee has claimed it was required to pay to retailers, as well as the incentives it provided to its customers in the absence of Aryzta-made items.
Additionally, Aryzta has requested McKee’s unredacted board minutes, internal reports, analyses and presentations, and general financial information during the relevant period of time to evaluate the actual impact the loss of the Aryzta-made items had on McKee.
A spokesman for McKee Foods said the company does not comment on ongoing litigation.