Latimer LeVay Fyock, LLCLatimer LeVay Fyock, LLC

LLF's Alex Passo and Joanna Kopczyk Obtain Six-Figure Settlement That Spared Family Business From Substantial Losses Due To Customer's Breach of Contract

In November 2023, LLF’s Alex Passo and Joanna Kopczyk obtained a significant settlement on behalf of a family business, vindicating their rights and sparing them from losses arising from a customer’s breach of contract. The settlement allowed the client to recoup its substantial investment of time, money, equipment, and cost of personnel over the course of several years after it was unceremoniously and wrongfully evicted from its customer’s facility on a premature basis per the contract.

The third-generation family business represented by the firm provides printing and labeling services for mass-produced consumer products. In 2017, it entered into a lucrative contract with a widely known manufacturer and distributor of household cleaners and laundry supplies. The agreement called for the firm’s client to provide its printing services on-site at its customer’s facility on the South Side of Chicago. To fulfill its obligation, the client had to purchase new equipment and machinery for use at the facility and incurred additional overhead expenses, including hiring and training new staff, obtaining new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, building out new IT infrastructure at the facility and host location, and obtaining new custom-built software to support the remote operations.

The contract was for a seven-year term unless earlier terminated by either party. In the event of early termination of the contract by the customer, the agreement provided that the customer would pay the firm’s client all costs incurred for relocating its personnel and equipment from the customer’s facility.

After several years of the client delivering the services set forth in the contract, and after a large conglomerate acquired the customer, the customer requested that the firm’s client vacate its facility, effectively terminating the contract by rendering performance as contemplated in the agreement impossible. At significant expense, the client vacated the customer’s premises.

Despite a demand that the customer pay the client’s costs as provided for in the agreement, the customer refused to do so. Accordingly, in 2022, LLF filed a lawsuit on behalf of the client against the customer, alleging breach of contract and promissory estoppel.

Passo and Kopczyk negotiated a high six-figure settlement that made the client whole and spared it from substantial losses resulting from its customer’s breach. The firm congratulates both of them for their excellent work on behalf of their client.