‘Abuses and obfuscation’: Non responses in Vermont Bread suit delay case | Business

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BURLINGTON — Lawyers for a group of Vermont Bread employees who were fired without warning in April 2021 are asking a federal judge to sanction the entity that owned Koffee Kup Bakery and its subsidiaries for less than a month before firing them. to close.

“The deadline for [American Industrial Acquisitions Co.] Defendants to respond to Plaintiffs’ Sanctions Motion was January 3, 2023, and no such objection has been filed and no extension has been granted for such filing,” wrote Mary E. Olsen and M. Vance McCrary of the law firm Gardner. on behalf of employees.

The suit, which received class action status last year, was filed by former employees of Koffee Kup in Burlington, Vermont Bread in Brattleboro and Superior Bakery in Connecticut against American Industrial Acquisition Corp. and KK Bakery Investment Co., which they accused of failing to give them 60 days notice of termination.

The motion to enforce the penalties was co-signed by David Dunn, attorney for former state Rep. Linda Joy Sullivan, who was appointed by a state judge to oversee the bakeries’ breakup.

Last December, the AIAC’s defense attorney filed a motion to withdraw, and soon after, the ex-employees filed the motion for sanctions.

Judge William K. Sessions III set a Jan. 3 deadline for the AIAC to find a new attorney and set a Feb. 6 hearing date to discuss the sanctions motion seeking legal fees and an injunction preventing the AIAC to present evidence, argument or rebuttal related to the testimony of Jeff Sands, from Dorset, who helped organize The acquisition of the AIAC from Koffee Kup, Vermont Bread and Superior Bakery.

The plaintiffs asked Sessions to sanction AIAC as well, because Leonard Levie, its manager, failed to appear for a follow-up deposition scheduled for November.

Despite promising Levie’s appearance via the internet in Vermont in November, the AIAC responded that it could “designate whomever it wishes to appear … and it has no intention now of harboring Mr. Levie,” the attorneys wrote in the penalty motion. .

The plaintiffs seek sanctions, because the defendants “belatedly dribbled past relevant documentary evidence or, in some cases, simply refused to produce it at all…a pattern of abuse of discovery and obfuscation by the defendants of AIAC”.

The judge extended the deadline to appoint a new attorney to January 15, and although on January 13 an attorney filed a notice of appearance on behalf of the AIAC’s lead attorney, the lead attorney did not not submitted its own opinion.

Former employees are also represented by Lankenau and Miller LLP in New York, Cleary Shahi and Aicher PC in Rutland, the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice and Dentons US LLP.

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‘Abuses and obfuscation’: Non responses in Vermont Bread suit delay case | Business

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