Monster Energy Company v. City Beverages LLC

Foster Garvey PC represented Olympic Eagle Distributing.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in October 2019 that arbitrators must disclose an ownership interest in their alternative dispute provider organization. Because an arbitrator with JAMS failed to disclose that his ownership gave him an interest in all the company’s business with Monster Energy, the 9th Circuit vacated the arbitration award against our client, City Beverages, also known as Olympic Eagle Distributing.

The decision stems from a 2006 dispute over an agreement between Olympic Eagle, and Monster Energy, to sell the company’s drinks for 20 years in an exclusive territory in Washington state. When Monster terminated the agreement 12 years early, as part of its $2.15 billion equity transaction with Coca-Cola Co., Olympic Eagle sought relief under the Washington Franchise Investment Protection Act, which prohibits termination prior to the end of the term without cause.

The Foster Garvey team was led by Mike Vaska (Picture), Rylan Weythman and Devra Cohen.

Involved fees earner: Devra Cohen – Foster Garvey; Michael Vaska – Foster Garvey; Rylan Weythman – Foster Garvey;

Law Firms: Foster Garvey;

Clients: Olympic Eagle;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti