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    A&P Files Suit Against Royal Ahold’s Stop & Shop

    Former VP also named in non-compete complaint

    The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) has filed a lawsuit against Royal Ahold NV’s Stop & Shop Supermarket division for hiring its second most senior operations executive after he agreed not to work for a competitor for 18 months, according to press reports.

    Montvale, N.J.-based A&P, which filed for bankruptcy protection in December after years of eroding market share, filed the suit against Stop & Shop and Frank R. Vitale, the Tea Co.’s former VP of operations, in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., reports Bloomberg, which reported that the lawsuit accuses Vitale of disclosing trade secrets and “key elements” of its restructuring strategy to its rival. A&P is seeking $1 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages from Stop & Shop.

    According to the Bloomberg report, Vitale “was the second most senior operator at A&P and one of only two regional vice presidents until his abrupt resignation on Feb. 14,” according to the complaint.

    Details of the case are as follows: Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. v. Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., 11-cv-1641, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn). A&P’s bankruptcy case is Re The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. 10-24549, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (White Plains).

     

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