November 02, 2011
A US-based pork and beef supplier filed legal action against Bahamas Supermarkets Limited(BSL), the parent company of the City Market food store chain, in federal court in the U.S. over money it alleges is owed it by the Bahamian firm for products received.Kansas Packing LLC, a New Jersey company, is suing BSL in the United States District Court Southern District of Florida Miami Division. At stake are overdue payments allegedly owed to the supplier by BSL totaling$81,598, plus interest. The action was filed on November 2.
The owner of Kansas Packing, Robert "Bob" McErlean, told Guardian Business the food store chain was initially on 21-day credit terms with his company considered standard terms in the industry. McErlean alleges that after accumulating$121K in debt to Kansas Packing, a gentleman's agreement was reached for City Market to pay off the balance in$20,000 weekly installments.
McErlean said that since that letter, only two of the$20,000 payments were made, about two months ago.
According to the filing, a demand letter was sent to BSL on August 31 for the $81,598 plus interest that was owed from May. Invoices to BSL were included in the filing.
In an e-mail response to Guardian Business about the matter, BSL president Mark Finlayson said that"Kansas Bob"had been paid half of the amount owed for the last container shipped. He is alleging that the quality of a portion of the beef shipped was unsatisfactory.
Nikki Finlayson-Boeuf, a director at BSL, issued a statement regarding the dispute.
"We understand this supplier's frustration and are doing our best to address his concerns as well as those of our other suppliers as quickly as possible,"the statement read."As previously indicated, the company is restructuring itself and we are asking all our vendors to bear with us as we work through this challenging time to get all of our locations reopened and to bring all of our outstanding payables current."
According to Douglas Broeker, the attorney representing Kansas Packing, the action commenced in Miami because the goods the company is alleging were never fully paid for were shipped from there.
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