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Orange International Trading LLC v. Steinhauser, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

July 22, 2019

ORANGE INTERNATIONAL TRADING LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
STEINHAUSER, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

          DENISE J. CASPER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Orange International Trading LLC (“Orange”) brings this lawsuit against Steinhauser, Inc. (“Steinhauser”) arising out of claims against Steinhauser that were assigned to Orange by Frutaki Indp. Imp e Exp. Ltd. (“Frutaki”) and Total Juice Industra de Sucos LTDA (“Total Juice”). D. 1. The Court has previously denied Orange's motion for judgment on the pleadings, D. 55, and Steinhauser's motion for summary judgment, D. 58. D. 78 (“Memorandum & Order”). As resolved in the Memorandum & Order, the Court ruled that Orange had a valid assignment from Total and Frutaki to bring its claims against Steinhauser for unpaid invoices to both entities. D. 78 at 10. To the extent that Steinhauser attempted to revisit this ruling now, the Court declines to do. As identified in the Memorandum & Order, the matter for which there remained disputed issues for trial concerned whether Steinhauser has a valid setoff defense to Orange's claims (validly assigned from Total and Frutaki) for the unpaid invoices. D. 78 at 5-6, 10-11.

         During a two-day bench trial, which began on May 29, 2019, D. 112-13, the Court heard evidence on this remaining issue from Fred Hildebrand of Orange, Carlos Saad of Frutaki and Total Juice and Kay Jacobs of Frutaki BV (“BV”) and admitted exhibits proffered by the parties, D. 114, and now issues its findings of facts and conclusions of law regarding same below.

         II. Findings of Fact

         The Court has already recited certain undisputed facts in this matter in the Memorandum & Order denying Orange's motion for judgment on the pleadings and Steinhauser's motion for summary judgment and related motions, D. 78, and incorporates those undisputed findings of fact by reference here. D. 78. The Court addresses here only the facts material to its ruling on the setoff defense.

         Assignment of Frutaki and Total Juice Claims to Orange

         1. As previously found in D. 78, Orange is the valid assignee of the claims regarding the total of seven unpaid invoices from Frutaki and Total Juice against Steinhauser. D. 78 at 10.

         2. Frutaki and Total Juice assigned their claims to Orange on or about April 4, 2016. Exh. 4.

         Unpaid Invoices Due to Total Juice

         3. On the four occasions discussed below, Total Juice invoiced Steinhauser for fruit juice concentrate it delivered to Steinhauser. Exh. 2.

         4. Total Juice has demanded payment for the fruit juice concentrate delivered to Steinhauser. No. 1:60:25-1:61:4.[1]

         5. Steinhauser admits it has not made payment on the goods Total Juice delivered to Steinhauser. D. 11 ¶ 27 (admitting that there were “four (4) Total Juice concentrate purchases which were not paid for by Steinhauser” as alleged in D. 1 ¶ 27).

         6. The four occasions on which Total Juice invoiced and shipped juice concentrate to Steinhauser and for which Steinhauser has still not paid are as follows:

Invoice #

Date

Product Type

Amount (USD)

001/2014

10/5/2014

Brazilian Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice

$47, 949

002/2014

10/5/2014

Brazilian Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice

$47, 025

003/2014

10/5/2014

Brazilian Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice

$45, 375

006/2014

10/12/2014

Brazilian Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice

$35, 763.75

TOTAL

$176, 112.75

         Exh. 2.

         Unpaid ...


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