Jury awards $20M settlement to a Walmart supplier for breach of contract

A company Walmart contracted with to provide hand sanitizer in its stores during the COVID-19 pandemic prevailed in court last week, with a Washington County jury awarding them a $19.3 million settlement.

Walmart contracted with K2 Distribution Co. to install dispensers and provide sanitizer for in-store use at 5,000 Walmarts, Neighborhood Markets and Sams Clubs in 2020, plaintiff’s attorney Tom Mars said. K2 invested millions to ramp up production of the sanitizer and charter planes to bring it to the United States from China, he said.

“In exchange for Walmart’s long term commitment to buy its much-needed, high-quality hand sanitizer, K2 also agreed to supply Walmart with more than 40,000 custom-built hand sanitizer dispensers embossed with the Walmart logo at no cost to Walmart,” Mars said.

Mars said those dispensers were still being installed when Walmart decided to start buying cheaper hand sanitizer from another company instead. Walmart kept those dispensers and declined to reimburse K2 for them.

Attorneys for K2 included Mars, Chicago lawyers Drew Peel and Scott Hessell and Kirk Dougherty and Kynda Almefty from Fort Smith. John Tull of Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull represented Walmart.

The jury trial started May 1, and the jury announced a verdict May 12. The jury found Walmart liable for breach of contract and for “conversion,” which is holding on to someone else’s property unlawfully.

Not surprisingly, Walmart disagreed with the verdict. The Bentonville-based behemoth is considering next steps, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said.

“We value our supplier relationships and disagree with the verdict. We continue to believe our business dealings with K2 were appropriate, and we are reviewing our options, including the filing of post-trial motions,” he said.

The post Jury awards $20M settlement to a Walmart supplier for breach of contract appeared first on Arkansas Times.

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