Fox Trial Team Secures Multimillion-Dollar Breach of Contract Decision for Nature’s Plus Nordic AS in Years-Long DisputeFebruary 9, 2015 – Press Releases
A litigation team, led by Fox Rothschild LLP attorneys Gerard P. Norton and Ernest E. Badway recently garnered a multimillion-dollar award for damages in a hard-fought breach of contract case on behalf of client Nature’s Plus Nordic AS (NPN), a Norwegian distributor of skin care, makeup and health supplements in the Nordic region.
The dispute, which spanned more than five years, arose out of a December 2007 sole distributorship agreement between NPN and Natural Organics, Inc. (NOI), a manufacturer and supplier of health supplements sold under various trade names, including “Nature’s Plus.” This agreement made NPN the exclusive distributor of Nature’s Plus brand products to retail stores in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland from 2008 to 2018.
NOI improperly terminated its agreement with NPN in 2009, naming NPN’s former managing director as a new distributor. NOI claimed that NPN failed to meet minimum sales requirements stipulated in the distributorship contract. In addition to disputing this claim, NPN alleged that NOI breached the contract by failing to provide NOI with adequate notice both that it intended to terminate the agreement and to give NPN ample opportunity to address the alleged minimum sales requirement issue. District Court Judge, Arthur D. Spatt ruled on Summary Judgment that NOI breached the contract.
Following a three-week trial and two-and-a half days of deliberation, the jury awarded Nature’s Plus Nordic AS a multimillion-dollar verdict, cementing the Fox team’s success in proving that NOI was liable for damages for breach of contract.
Norton, a partner with the firm, is the chair of the Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group and co-chair of the Life Sciences Practice Group. He has extensive experience litigating complex matters pertaining to patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and breaches of contract, as well as handling intellectual property portfolio protection and enforcement.
Badway, a partner with the firm, is co-chair of the Securities Industry Practice Group and co-chair of White-Collar Criminal Defense & Regulatory Compliance Practice Group. He represents corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and financial institutions, such as broker-dealers, investment advisers, private equity and hedge funds, banks and insurance companies, among others. Badway also counsels and advises officers, directors, executives, registered persons and employees on a wide range of commercial, business, securities, intellectual property, employment, real estate, corporate, pharmaceuticals, partnership disputes, contracts and other business issues and litigation.
Norton and Badway were assisted by Fox Rothschild attorneys J. Mark Hand, Ph.D., Ryan N. Miller and Nancy E. Halpern, D.V.M.