Fleming Settles Litigation with David's

Article excerpt

Nearly four years of litigation between Fleming Cos. Inc. and David's Supermarkets has come to an end as the wholesale food distributor has settled with the Texas supermarket chain for $19.9 million.

David's had originally filed a $207 million lawsuit in 1993 against Fleming in Johnson County, Texas, alleging that Fleming had overcharged David's to increase its profits. David's received a $211 million judgment that was later thrown out after the disclosure of a financial relationship between the original trial judge and affiliates of David's. A new trial was slated for May in Johnson County.

And though that dispute has been resolved, Fleming said it will continue to pursue its claims of defamation, business disparagement and fraud by omission against David's principal shareholder David Waldrip and attorney Bill Simms. Fleming alleges that Waldrip and Simms intended to "home-court" the David's litigation by launching a negative publicity campaign against Fleming. As for the lawsuit involving overcharging, Fleming spokesperson Nancy Del Regno said that the $19.9 million would be paid by Fleming and come out of first quarter earnings. Last year, Fleming settled a $20 million lawsuit with Premium Sales of Florida, a one-time charge that contributed to a $2.7 million drop in net earnings for the third quarter of 1996. …