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Drinks.Com sues WineDirect alleging substandard shipping service; WD countersues

Drinks Holdings Inc. (DHI) — best known for its Drinks.Com direct wine sales — has sued ecommerce and fulfillment company, WineDirect (WD) in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation, and unfair competition.

The suit was brought by DHI and its allied company, Hemispheres against WD and its Chief Executive Officer Joseph Waechter.

WineDirect and Waechter deny the allegations, and have filed a counterclaim against DHI, Hemispheres and Gary Cooperman, who is DHI’s Chief Financial Officer.

DHI’s complaint alleges WD misrepresented its ability to handle all of DHI’s shipping business, which resulted in chronic shipment delays including a disastrous 2016 holiday season.

WD’s counterclaim, filed in amended form on April 16, charged that all the shipping issues resulted from DHI’s inability to provide accurate estimates of upcoming shipments and that they had too many inserts to go into the shipping boxes. WD’s counterclaim also alleges illegal shipments and issues with product bailments.

DHI has not yet filed a response to WD’s counterclaim. However,  DHI’s attorney, David Shack said in an email to Wine Industry Insight that:

“It is unfortunate that we have had to resort to litigation to resolve our dispute with WineDirect, but we are 100% confident that our claims will be fairly adjudicated and that we will be awarded the full amount of our damages from WineDirect’s service failures.  We also deny all allegations of wrongful or illegal conduct.”

Wine Industry Insight also reached out to WD for comment, but none had been received by publication time.

According to LA Superior Court documents, the two companies are next due in court on June 20 for a case management conference at the Santa Monica courthouse.

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Also In This Article:

The full text of the following sections is available to premium subscribers of Wine Executive News.

  • DHI says trouble with WineDirect rooted in expansion, increasing sales

  • DHI contends that WineDirect did not grow its resources to handle DHI growth

  • DHI gives WineDirect early warning of new deals and greater volume in 2017-18

  • DHI alleges faulty WD equipment, poor management and unreliable employees caused consistent delivery failures

  • WD blames chronic problems on DHI’s inconsistent forecasts, numerous inserts

  • DHI: Holiday catastrophe of 2016 caused by WD service failure

  • WineDirect contends faulty DHI forecasts caused 2016 holiday catastrophe

  • WineDirect Counterclaim alleges shipment irregularities

  • Wine bailment issues also asserted by WD

Full court documents

  • Drinks Holdings Complaint
  • WineDirect Amended Counter-Complaint

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