Southern University recently selected Advanced Biomedics, LLC to run its medical marijuana growing operations. However, the program has been delayed due to an internal dispute within Advanced Biomedics, potentially jeopardizing the deal. The two largest owners of Advanced Biomedics have filed legal challenges against each other over the contract negotiations with Southern and the ownership structure of the company.

Carrol Castille, a Carencro businessman, is listed as the majority owner of Advanced Biomedics through a holding company. Chad Bodin, a pharmacy owner in Lafayette, is the founder and minority owner of the firm. Last month, Castille filed a lawsuit in Lafayette against Bodin, alleging, among other things, that Bodin violated the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act by secretly negotiating a contract with Southern that was “materially worse” than the one he proposed.

Castille says he learned that his proposed contract with Southern had been revised in March. After emailing proposed revisions to the contract on April 9, Southern University responded that the university’s board had already approved the agreement negotiated with Bodin’s counsel, the suit said. Castille contends the operating agreement signed by all owners of the firm prevents anyone but him from negotiating on the company’s behalf.

Protection under the LUTPA
The Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act provides that unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are unlawful. Additionally, any person who suffers any ascertainable loss of money or property, as a result of the use or employment by another person of an unfair or deceptive method, act or practice declared unlawful by Louisiana law, may bring an action to recover actual damages.

Conduct is considered unlawful under Unfair Trade Practices Act when it involves fraud, misrepresentation, deception, breach of fiduciary duty or other unethical conduct. The Act is extremely broad and can potentially reach all aspects of commercial relationships. To state an LUTPA claim, a plaintiff must allege facts inviting an inference of egregious wrongdoing.

If you have been a victim of unfair or deceptive practices, contact our team today. Whaley Law Firm will work diligently to seek maximum compensation for you. Contact our team for a free consultation.