Frozen Pizza Producer Countersues Pepperoni Maker for Blue Plastic Contamination

Last week, in response to a lawsuit filed by Liguria Foods LLC, defendant Palermo Villa Inc. filed their answer to the complaint with counterclaims in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The defendant denied all of the allegations contained in the complaint, and pressed charges against the plaintiffs for breach of contract and warranty.

Liguria’s original complaint alleged that defendant Palermo failed to pay more than $500,000 after they allegedly delivered pepperoni that contained blue plastic inside of it.  They also claimed that “Palermo persist[ed] in its efforts to assign blame to Liguria Foods, and Palermo continue[d] to refuse to pay money rightfully owed to Liguria Foods for the pepperoni it received in 2019.” Furthermore, Liguria asserted that their food and facilities are up to standards and that Palermo “did not believe that Liguria Foods was responsible for the contamination.”

Palermo largely denied these claims, with a few exceptions: they admitted were granted access to Liguria’s facility and that they continued to buy Liguria products while accusing them of making contaminated foods; however, they claimed that none of Palermo’s pizzas with Liguria’s pepperoni were sold to consumers.

Palermo firmly claimed that “Liguria was the source of the contamination.” Therefore, Palermo incurred damages as a result of buying these pepperoni that were unsafe for human consumption of an amount greater than $1,370,000. As a result, the defendants are counterclaiming for breach of contract, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty and breach of implied warranty of merchantability for Liguria’s alleged unwillingness to honor their contract with Palermo for reimbursement.

Palermo is seeking compensatory damages, incidental and consequential damages in excess of $1,370,000, disbursements, attorney’s fees and costs, and other relief. The The plaintiffs are represented by Fox Rothschild and the defendants are represented by Hennessy & Roach, P.C. and Hansen Reynolds LLC.

When asked for comment, a representative from Palermo provided the following statement to Law Street:

“The lawsuit filed by Liguria Foods, LLC is riddled with falsehoods and inaccurate claims. Palermo’s asserts that there is no merit to Liguria’s lawsuit. As such, Palermo’s will aggressively defend against Liguria’s claims.”

“In addition to defending against Liguria’s claims, Palermo’s has filed a counterclaim against Liguria based on Liguria providing pepperoni product to Palermo’s that was unfit for human consumption, and as a result, Palermo’s alleges that Liguria breached their contract with Palermo’s and breached a number of their product warranties. Palermo’s now seeks compensatory damages for Liguria’s breaches of contract and warranties.”

“Palermo’s takes safety and quality very seriously, and it’s important to note that no products made with the pepperoni in question were ever sold to consumers. While no products made with this Liguria pepperoni ever made it to stores for sale to consumers, we always welcome feedback. If, for any reason, a consumer should ever be unsatisfied with any Palermo’s pizza, we encourage them to contact us through our consumer service number (1-888-571-7181), and we will work with them to make it right because the Palermo’s Guarantee is on every pizza we make. It is and has always been our mission to deliver a great pizza experience.”

At the time of publication, Liguria’s has not replied to a request for comment.