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Exclusive Ex-Supplier Sues Vera Bradley

Hundreds of local sewers in Fort Wayne, Indiana have been put out of work, at least temporarily, and a lawsuit has been filed against Vera Bradley in response to an announcement that the company would be bringing all sewing in-house and cancelling contracts with outside firms.  The lawsuit describes a now soured long term relationship between Vera Bradley and Robert Hinty, whose companies Phoenix Sewing Inc., Summit Production Systems LLC and Mercury Manufacturing LLC have provided exclusive sewing services for the handbag manufacturer.

The lawsuit reportedly alleges that after Vera Bradley announced its decision to bring sewing services in-house in an effort to save costs, Hinty’s companies were valued at more than $10.5 million for buyout purposes, but the company terminated the relationship instead and setup a “preferred application” program in an attempt to steal Hinty’s employees and to force his companies to go out of business so the handbag maker could buy his assets at liquidaton prices and force him to accept less than their worth.  Read more about this story in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

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