June 23, 2015

Kate's Homemade Butter Awarded $1 Million in Damages

Earlier today, a jury returned a verdict and awarded damages in excess of $1 million in favor of Arundel Valley LLC in its lawsuit against Branch River Plastics, a Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) manufacturer in Smithfield, Rhode Island. The well-known butter producer, Kate’s Homemade Butter, leases their newly-built facility in Arundel from Arundel Valley LLC. Both companies are owned and operated by Dan and Karen Patry of Old Orchard Beach.

The award covers replacement costs incurred by the Patrys following the purchase and installation of roof panels on their facility. Prior to the completion of construction, the Patrys discovered the panels that were installed on the roof of the new facility were not what they were supposed to be and were defective. In the face of public pressure to move their business out of their Old Orchard Beach home as quickly as possible, the Patrys decided to remove and replace the roof panel system in order to insure the long term operation and overall safety of their new facility in Arundel. Operations were moved to the new facility in February 2014 after the Patrys incurred significant additional costs to remedy the problems they had discovered.

“We are relieved and grateful to the jurors for their decision. This dispute made the journey to transition our business to Arundel a long and difficult process. This award will help us start to make up for what it cost us to repair the roof panels and help us move our business forward,” said Dan Patry. “We are happy this has been made right so we can get back to focusing on what we love to do – making butter and buttermilk.”

The case, filed in December of 2012, laid out in detail how the Patrys were sold panels manufactured by Branch River Plastics marketed to them as R-Control SIPs, a specific brand of roof panels that meet or exceed all building code regulations and are manufactured to the highest standards. The manufacturer instead provided a generic brand of panel that was installed in the new facility. Later it was discovered that the panels were not R-Control SIPs, which meant, among other things, that they did not comply with the applicable building code and were defectively manufactured. If left unaddressed it would have resulted in damage to the facility and endangered workers in the building.

“We believe this is a fair and just outcome,” said Tim Bryant, an attorney for Preti Flaherty who represented Arundel Valley LLC in the trial. “The Patrys were not provided what they were promised and what they were provided was defective. We are pleased our law firm was able to help such a wonderful family recover the costs to repair the roof panels on their building and can now put this matter behind them.”