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 user 2010-05-10 at 10:14:07 am Views: 56
  • #24367
    Office Depot and its former private label toner and cartridge supplier Nukote are to attempt to settle their legal dispute in mediation.In September 2009, Nukote filed a lawsuit against Office Depot claiming $217 million in damages for what it called “intentional and malicious acts” by its former customer that breached a binding contract between the two parties and forced Nukote to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.It also made a number of other serious allegations against Office Depot, including the inappropriate booking by Office Depot of an unearned credit of $900,000.Depot has constantly denied Nukote’s claims, stating that the supplier “made numerous scandalous allegations which lacked any merit” and maintains that Nukote breached its contract and actually owes Office Depot money.Now the two parties have agreed to try and settle their dispute out of court in a non-binding mediation process.

    However, there is still disagreement about which party instigated the mediation process.
    According to Office Depot, it filed a motion to dismiss Nukote’s lawsuit which was scheduled to be heard by a court on 28 April 2010. Among other things Depot was claiming that Nukote had breached the parties’ original contract by filing a lawsuit prior to participating in non-binding mediation, which it says was a specific contractual requirement.Depot states that just days prior to the motion to dismiss being heard by the court, Nukote approached Office Depot and offered to dismiss the matter without prejudice in return for Office Depot now agreeing to mediate the matter. To this end, Depot adds, Nukote voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit on 27 April.

    Nukote has a different version of events.
    Spokesman Russell Mack told that it would be “inaccurate” to say that the lawsuit had been “dismissed”.“Office Depot requested that the two parties mediate the dispute before continuing with the litigation, and so we have agreed to mediate,” stated Mack.“If the dispute is not resolved in mediation, Nukote intends to resume the litigation,” he added.Whatever the exact sequence of events, the two parties have agreed to try and settle their dispute through a mediation process, although any outcome will be non-binding.

    However, given that they cannot even agree on the exact circumstances surrounding the move to mediation, it does not bode well for a successful outcome to the mediation process itself, especially given the seriousness of some of the allegations.Nukote said that the agreement to mediate with Office Depot did not have any bearing on its $100 million lawsuit against Office Depot’s new supplier, Clover Technologies.“We are pursuing that lawsuit vigorously,” stated Russell Mack