On April 14, 2016, Erickson | Sederstrom’s Richard J. Gilloon and Nicholas F. Sullivan, together with Kevin D. Weakley and Leilani R. Leighton from the Kansas law firm Wallace Saunders Austin Brown & Enochs, obtained a $1.59 million dollar judgment for their client, Hassanin Aly, against Hanzada for Import and Export Company, Ltd. (“Hanzada”).
The case involved the breach of an oral contract. Mr. Aly is a dual citizen of the United States and Egypt, and Hanzada is an Egyptian company that purchases beef in the United States for resale in Egypt.
In 2006, Mr. Aly and Hanzada orally agreed that if Mr. Aly could help establish a buyer-seller arrangement between Hanzada and National Beef Packing Company, LLC (“National Beef”), Hanzada would pay Mr. Aly $10 per metric ton for every metric ton of beef product Hanzada purchased from National Beef.
After entering into the agreement with Hanzada, Mr. Aly went to work in establishing a buyer-seller arrangement between Hanzada and National Beef. Mr. Aly effort’s included, among other things, meeting with both companies’ executives in the United States and Egypt, product preparation in the United States, assistance with translating, shipping, marketing, advertising, and complying with Islamic religious requirements for the sale of meat product in Egypt.
As a direct result of Mr. Aly’s efforts, Hanzada began purchasing beef product from National Beef in October 2008. From October 2008 through March 2016, Hanzada purchased a total of over 159,000 metric tons (over 350 million pounds) of beef product from National Beef. Despite Mr. Aly’s efforts, Hanzada did not carry out its end of the bargain and refused to pay Mr. Aly his commission.
On July 11, 2012, Mr. Aly filed a breach of contract action against Hanzada in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, St. Joseph Division. A jury trial was held on April 12-14, 2016. On April 14th, the jury found that Hanzada breached its oral agreement with Mr. Aly and returned a verdict in favor of Mr. Aly in the amount of $1,591,186.60. On August 8, 2016, Hanzada appealed the judgment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The Eighth Circuit heard oral arguement on February 9, 2017, and affirmed the verdict for Mr. Aly on March 23, 2017.