IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A jury has ordered an Iowa warehouse operator to pay Hormel Foods Corp. $4 million for failing to protect its products from floodwaters in 2008.
The jury found Monday that Crystal Distribution Services, Inc., breached its contract with Hormel by failing to keep its facilities clean, failing to store products at specified temperatures and failing to pay Hormel for losses.
Hormel filed the lawsuit in 2009, blaming Crystal for the loss of products stored at its Waterloo, Iowa warehouse during flooding the previous year. Water from the Cedar River flowed into the basement of the warehouse, trapping the product and causing the refrigeration system to fail.
The United States Department of Agriculture later ordered the products destroyed.
Minnesota-based Hormel praised the ruling Tuesday while Crystal had no immediate comment.
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