• February 18, 2011

Update:  Becwood Technology Group’s unfortunate outcome (see below) gets “unfortunater”?  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed the U.S. District Court (D. Minn.) on Dingxi Longhai Dairy’s counts for which Becwood Technology Group had won dismissal (before Becwood lost on summary judgment both defending claims brought by Dingxi Longhai and on its counterclaims).

The holding is important in its discussion of the requirements of pleading as to damages, the District Court having dismissed based on a finding that Dingxi Longhai had suffered no damages.  “The amount of damages to be recovered is based on proof, not the pleadings.”

Original post (June 18, 2010):  An epic saga of moldy inulin is esoteric, to be sure, but familiar to faithful Minnesota Litigator readers.   In a nutshell, Becwood bought and hoped to sell inulin, an ingredient in yogurt and sports drinks, from Dingxi Dairy to downstream food companies like Stonyfield Farm.  A lot of inulin for a fair bit of money (>600 metric tons for more than $1.4 million).   Stonyfield Farm apparently rejected the inulin as damaged and Becwood refused to pay Dingxi Dairy for it.  Dingxi Dairy, however, argued that the inulin was fine or, alternately, any problems with it were not Dingxi Dairy’s problem (that is, the inulin had left its possession in fine shape and it did not bear the risk of later problems).

Today, after two years of litigation, defendant Becwood lost on plaintiff Dingxi Dairy’s motion for summary judgment — both as to Dingxi Dairy’s affirmative claims and Becwood’s counterclaims for tortious interference.  

Sr. U.S. District Court Judge David S. Doty (D. Minn.), completely validating the allegations in the March, 2008 complaint, held that Becwood simply had not come forward with sufficient evidence that the inulin was damaged in the first place.

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