Fa-la-la-la-Litigation: A Tinsel-Tangled Tale of Two Christmas Tree Companies in a Virginia Court
Written by Sam Orlando
Elk Creek, Virginia - Deck the halls with boughs of legalese, fa-la-la-la-la, la-law-suit! A Christmas-tree-distributor, Polito's Christmas Wholesale LLC, has fired off a lawsuit in the Western District of Virginia against Blue Mountain Christmas Tree Farm and its co-owners, Amanda Sanchez Diaz and Enrique Sanchez Garcia. The suit is 'decorated' with accusations of breach of contract and failure to deliver "perfect tender." Yes, perfect tender, not reindeer.
Not a Silent Night in Court
While children make wish lists for Santa, Polito’s made a list of grievances against Blue Mountain, alleging the farm failed to deliver on a contract to the tune of $193,350. The specifics read like a Christmas song: 150 4/5’ Fraser Firs, 500 5/6’ Fraser Firs, 1000 6/7’ Fraser Firs, and so on. And while the Twelve Days of Christmas end with drummers drumming, Polito’s is drumming up litigation, claiming Blue Mountain’s failure to deliver has cost them dearly—approximately $275,000 in damages and interests.
On Dasher, On Dancer, On Lawyer and Paralegal
Polito’s, whose sleigh—er, headquarters—are in Princeton, New Jersey, is suing the Elk Creek, Virginia-based Christmas tree farm and its co-owners for falling significantly short on their Fraser Fir deliveries, and delivering trees that allegedly looked more like Charlie Brown's than a picture-perfect Nordmann. Polito’s says this has not only hit them in their stockings but also cost them goodwill and customers.
The lawsuit also names other damages including $73,489.00 in lost profits, $68,767.00 in other consequential damages, and a remaining balance of $44,040.00. Oh, and don't forget the wreaths and garlands that were also part of the failed delivery, to the tune of $24,927.50.
In the Meadow, We Can Build a Snowman, But Not a Legal Defense?
Court documents say that Blue Mountain and the co-owners have so far not been in the holiday spirit of resolving the dispute, despite Polito’s "good faith attempts." Will Blue Mountain find itself on Santa’s naughty list for years to come? Time and litigation will tell.
A Grinchy Predicament?
So as it stands, while families are beginning to prepare for the upcoming holiday season, Polito's and Blue Mountain are preparing for something a bit less festive: discovery, depositions, and a jury trial. Polito’s has requested a trial by jury, adding a twist to this modern Christmas tale. There might not be chestnuts roasting on an open fire, but there will certainly be legal briefs roasting in the courtroom.
As people string up their twinkly lights and sip on hot cocoa, Polito's and Blue Mountain will be untangling a knotty legal case. Will the two parties manage to find a resolution that doesn't involve coal in their stockings? For now, the ornaments are in the court.
Inquiries to both Polito's and Blue Mountain have not been returned as of publication time. So while the rest of the world is hanging tinsel and jingle-belling, this court case looks to be a less jolly affair.
The case serves as a reminder that even the merriest of industries are not immune to the complexities of contracts and the potential for holiday havoc.
It’s safe to say, for these businesses, it will be a Christmas to remember—just maybe not in the way they had hoped.