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Arnold & Porter Secures $33.45 Million Jury Verdict for Lindt, Ghirardelli, and Russell Stover in Warehouse Software Lawsuit

April 4, 2024

Arnold & Porter achieved a significant victory for clients Lindt & Sprüngli, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, and Russell Stover (the “Chocolate Companies”) on March 30, 2024. After a two-week trial in the Western District of Missouri, an eight-person jury returned a verdict in favor of the Chocolate Companies on all counts in a dispute involving the failed implementation of a warehouse distribution software system at the Chocolate Companies’ new primary western United States warehouse, packaging, and distribution center.

The jury found third-party logistics company GXO Logistics (the “Defendant”) liable on six claims—Fraudulent misrepresentation, Fraudulent concealment, Negligent Misrepresentation, Breach of express contract, Breach of implied contract, and Professional negligence. The jury awarded the Chocolate Companies $33.45 million, the full amount of compensatory damages sought. The jury also returned verdicts in favor of the Chocolate Companies on the three counterclaims asserted by GXO, seeking nearly $12 million. As a result of the win, our clients are entitled to and will pursue significant additional relief in the form of prejudgment interest, costs, and recovery on an attendant equitable claim under California law.

Litigation began in September 2019, when the Defendant filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of California seeking $15 million in invoice claims related to the dispute. The Chocolate Companies countered with an arbitration filing seeking damages for the failed usage of the software platform. In May 2022, the Arnold & Porter team was retained to represent the Chocolate Companies and filed a new consolidated case in the Western District of Missouri before its Chief Judge Beth Phillips.

The case was heavily litigated right through trial with GXO repeatedly seeking to dismiss the Chocolate Companies’ claims, including with an omnibus summary judgment motion, which the Court denied. The Chocolate Companies also overcame numerous GXO attempts to exclude evidence at trial.

The multi-office, cross-practice team was led and tried by Evan Rothstein and Patrick Hall and included Kurt Riester, Peter Vogel, Nate King, Dan Shimell, and at trial were Marc Cohn, Suneeta Hazra, Stanton Jones, Elisabeth Theodore, Daniel Yablon, Natalie Steiert, Nina Tauscher, Tanya Huffaker, Massiel Rivera, and Dawna Peich.