PRICE CHOPPER SUES GIANT MARKETS
The Price Chopper grocery store chain commenced a multi-million dollar suit against Binghamton Giant Market, Inc. for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets. The Complaint, filed in the State Supreme Court in Schenectady on June 3, 2009, alleges that Giant Markets routinely obtained advance notice of the promotional items and prices that Price Chopper was advertising in the Sunday editions of the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin to gain unfair competitive advantage.
The Complaint alleges that Todd E. Hoover of Greene, New York, was arrested and charged by the police on April 1, 2009 when he was caught taking copies of the Price Chopper advertising flyers that had not yet been distributed to the public. According to the Complaint, surveillance tapes show that on approximately seven separate occasions, Hoover took copies of the flyers from a bottle storage closet at the Price Chopper Glenwood Avenue grocery store and stuffed them down his pants. The complaint further alleges that parking lot surveillance tapes show Hoover handing the flyers to David J. Cannistra of Binghamton on approximately six separate occasions. Price Chopper further alleges in the complaint that Cannistra would subsequently pass the flyers to August O. Kutchinski, director of operations for Giant Markets and a resident of Vestal, New York.
According to the Price Chopper suit, this arrangement constituted an ongoing conspiracy which occurred almost every Wednesday for at least six months, and permitted Giant Markets to learn what items and prices Price Chopper intended to promote in its Sunday advertisements.
The Price Chopper suit seeks compensatory damages of $5 million, recovery of the profits and gains that Giant allegedly obtained in the amount of $5 million and an additional amount of $10 million for punitive damages.