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Trial Begins in Amana Case
Jan 20, 2003
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A trial over an Israeli company's claim it was defrauded by Amana Appliances and a former executive has begun in U.S. District Court. Eden Electrical claims Amana sold the company U.S. $2.4 million in outdated merchandise. The company also alleges that Amana violated its contract that made Eden the exclusive distributor of Amana's line of products in Israel. However, Amana officials say there was no fraud, and that a distributor agreement had unraveled causing the difficulties including the canceled contract.

Former international vice president for Amana, Richard Montross, also is named as a defendant in the case. Eden's attorney, Kevin Collins, said the company had to buy the merchandise to gain the contract. Mr. Collins said Amana never intended to honor the contract and had planned to replace Eden with the French company, Crystal, as soon as Eden purchased the outdated merchandise, mostly refrigerators. A lawyer for Amana, Michael Weston, said Amana was not at fault. "Amana wasn't involved in any scheme," he said in his opening statement. "They took the action they should have when two partners were splitting up." The trial is expected to last three weeks. (Associated Press)

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