After the collapse of a nearly 30-year partnership with the manufacturer of the world-famous Sriracha sauce and a multimillion-dollar lawsuit with the company, Craig Underwood is still betting on his Farms peppers.
A jury recently awarded $ 23.3 million to Underwood Ranches following a bitter lawsuit with Huy Fong Foods Inc., the producer of the wildly popular Sriracha in signature green-thanked bottle. The family-owned Underwood farm was once the only supplier of chili peppers at the core of Huy Fong's roast-labeled sauces.
The trial, which began in early June, came close last week when a civil jury decided that Irwindale-based Huy Fong violated the contract with the chili manufacturer and committed fraud by misrepresenting and hiding information.
"It's certainly not our nature to give up. We felt we had been rejected so we hoped we could correct it through the court," said Underwood, who manages the Camarillo farm. "When the verdict came down, there was a lot to celebrate. We celebrated for lunch. We celebrated for dinner. And then we celebrated the next day."
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