Phelps Dunbar succeeded in defeating claims that one of the world’s largest casual dining companies, Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (BBI), caused $35 million in damages after severing ties with a food supplier. In its ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed an earlier summary judgment decision that dismissed the damage claim for breach of contract. The Court of Appeals also affirmed the District Court's ruling in favor of a monetary judgment against the plaintiff to cover some of BBI's expenses to defend itself. BBI has more than 1,400 restaurants in the United States and 20 other countries.
In Mr. Mudbug, Inc. v. Bloomin’ Brands, Inc., Mr. Mudbug Inc. (MMI) sued BBI for breach of contract when BBI ended the relationship after a series of problems with the quality of MMI’s products. MMI argued that the parties had entered into a long-term contract in which BBI purportedly agreed to purchase millions of pounds of food product. MMI also alleged BBI promised MMI would receive the contract if it expanded its manufacturing facility. BBI denied all liability.
Phelps Dunbar represented BBI with a multi-office litigation team led by Chris Ralston, Mike Hooker, and Jeremy Grabill, with assistance from Arthur Kraatz.