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Cigar Maker Swisher Want Rival To Pay $20 Million In Legal Fees

 |  February 8, 2023

Swisher has asked a federal judge in California to force a rival company to pay nearly $20 million in legal fees as a sanction for pursuing what it called a “bad faith” antitrust lawsuit for nearly a decade.

Swisher’s legal team at law firms Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Akerman argued in a filing on Tuesday in Santa Ana federal court that Trendsettah’s case “was built on a foundation of criminal misconduct, fraud, and misrepresentation.”

The claim marked the latest flashpoint in a nearly decade-long antitrust and contract claims fight between the two companies, with both leveling allegations against each other about deception and distrust.

Related: Swisher Beats $44M Antitrust Verdict

Swisher’s lawyers, including Gibson Dunn partner Theodore Boutrous, contend that Trendsettah long concealed a “tax-evasion conspiracy — while simultaneously attempting to recover millions of dollars of purported lost profits.”

“Because [Trendsettah] never should have filed this sham lawsuit, [it] should be required to pay Swisher’s fees and costs as a sanction for its bad-faith abuse of the judicial process,” Boutrous said in a statement on Wednesday.

At the center of the feud, Swisher had entered a deal with Trendsettah to produce a short and narrow product called a cigarillo, but the business relationship soured.

Trendsettah in 2014 sued Swisher in Los Angeles, claiming breach of contract and antitrust violations and demanding damages for alleged loss of profits.