For those unfamiliar with the dispute, last May Valentus’ SlimRoast coffee supplier sued the company for $3.1 million.
The lawsuit originated over an allegedly broken contract, wherein Advanced Laboratories were to supply Valentus with 630,000 boxed single-serve sachets of SlimRoast.
Valentus paid for 100,000 of the boxes and then informed Advanced Laboratories they wouldn’t be honoring the rest of the contract.
Valentus denied the claims and in turn filed a counter-claim, accusing Advanced Laboratories of engaging
in a deliberate and calculated campaign to misappropriate Valentus’ goodwill, raid its distributors, and destroy its business.
Vitae Global co-founder and Advanced Laboratories’ owner Louis Volpe was named as a counter-defendant.
Specific allegations raised in Valentus’ counter-claim included
- attempted extortion (Volpe)
- illegal wiretap or recording (Volpe)
- trademark infringement (all counterdefendants)
- false association/unfair competition (all counterdefendants)
- RICO violations (all counterdefendants)
- trademark counterfeiting (all counterdefendants)
- unfair competition (all counterdefendants)
- intentional interference with contractual relations (all counterdefendants) and
- breach of contract (Advanced Laboratories)
Unfortunately the filed February 21st Notice of Settlement provides no information regarding the specifics of the settlement reached.
Plaintiff and Counter-Defendant Advanced Laboratory International, LLC, and Counter-Defendants Vitae Global, LLC and Louis Volpe, on the one hand, and Defendants and Counterclaimants Valentus, Inc. and David Jordan, on the other hand hereby provide notice that they have entered into a written settlement agreement, and have settled this matter in its entirety.
A request for dismissal accompanied the filing, which was granted later the same day. Both parties were ordered to pay their own legal costs.
Given the seriousness of the allegations in Valentus’ counter-claim (the alleged RICO violations in particular), this case didn’t strike me as one that would go to settlement.
A confidential settlement in my opinion suggests that either Advanced Laboratories’, Valentus’ or both parties claims might have been full of hot air.
Pending details of the settlement being made public (which is extremely unlikely), guess we’ll never know for sure.
One other possible reason for settlement might be the overall health of both companies.
Alexa estimate traffic to the Valentus website went into decline for the second half of 2017, although it has since leveled out as of last month.
Interest in Vitae Global climbed until mid-November, after which it promptly collapsed.
As far as sustaining business operations goes, Valentus appears to be in a much more favorable position going forward.