As a Florida executive, you are likely aware that business disputes happen quite frequently. For people like you who are confronted with a disagreement that requires skilled negotiations, understanding the process can be critical. A recent case involving hemp oil between a company in El Salvador and its distributors in Florida was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

The El Salvador company was awarded $4 million in the judgment by an arbitration panel. The distributor’s appeal was denied. The agreement came about in June 2014. The company manufactures a hemp oil that it distributes across the U.S. The agreement between the sides came undone and both claimed breach of contract. The distributor thought the arbitration award was excessive. It sought modifications or for it to be vacated. The argument to overturn the award was that tort claims should not be subject to arbitration. Both arguments were rejected.

The agreement between the company and the distributor was canceled two months after it began. The complaint was that the initial deliveries of the product were not the level of pure oil they were supposed to be. The company disagreed with that assessment and said the distributor only paid for the first half of what it was supposed to for the two shipments before the agreement broke down.

Disagreements are common in business situations. Some can be settled through discussion. Others require litigation or arbitration. For those who are involved in an agreement with a foreign company for unusual products that are promoted as being a certain quality and there are claims that the quality does not meet the expectations, it is the foundation for litigation. On the opposite side, a company expecting distribution to be handled smoothly can file a case when there are issues. Having guidance and legal assistance from a lawyer who is experienced with business litigation and can explain the options in a professional and easily understandable manner can be key.

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