A California Superior Court jury has found the following Defendants, Thai Union International, Inc., Empress International, Inc. and Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods (collectively “Thai Union”), as well as Bryan Rosenberg and Brenden Beck (former employees of Contessa Premium Foods, Inc.), liable in connection with a scheme to steal trade secrets and compete unfairly with Contessa in the sale of frozen food products in the United States. The case dates back to 2005 when, without Contessa’s knowledge, Thai Union began interviewing several key Contessa sales executives.

The jury found that Thai Union ultimately conspired with two of the highest-ranking sales executives, Defendants Bryan Rosenberg and Brenden Beck, to misappropriate Contessa’s valuable trade secrets, defraud Contessa and take Contessa’s existing as well as anticipated customers. The jury also found that Rosenberg and Beck breached their fiduciary duty while employed by Contessa and did so with malice, oppression or fraud. The jury determined that Rosenberg and Thai Union engaged in fraud by concealment resulting in significant damages to Contessa.

Contessa was awarded compensatory damages of approximately $2.8 million in the first phase of the trial. In the punitive damages phase, another $1.5 million was assessed against Thai Union and $200,000 against Rosenberg. This made the total damages awarded to Contessa $4.5 million. In addition, Contessa is legally entitled to recover its attorney’s fees and costs as well as interest on the damages awarded in this case.

Source: PR Newswire

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