LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#affeldgrivakes–Since 1978, Cerritos-based Mr. Nature had been manufacturing and selling healthy and convenient snack foods to big customers nationwide, including hospitals, senior care facilities, colleges, and the U.S. Army. According to a suit filed by Affeld Grivakes LLP, the Latino-owned family business was forced to close over the holidays because of actions taken by the Company’s longtime bank, City National Bank.
On February 3, 2022, Mr. Nature filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeking damages of at least $20 million. According to the lawsuit, City National Bank abruptly and unilaterally changed the terms of Mr. Nature’s banking relationship, forcing this business to close its doors in the midst of the holiday season. The filed complaint is attached here.
On the afternoon before Thanksgiving, the lawsuit alleges City National Bank announced, in a two-sentence email without warning, that it was cutting off credit to Mr. Nature and freezing its bank account. When Mr. Nature’s president, Jorge Barraza, contacted City National Bank that same afternoon, he was told that the Bank was imposing stringent new credit conditions.
Over the following two weeks, despite the fact Mr. Nature was profitable and had orders still coming in, Mr. Nature alleges that City National Bank refused to reconsider its decision or to provide any accommodations to allow Mr. Nature to stay afloat. Mr. Nature was forced to lay off all of its employees—some who had been with the company for more than 20 years—shortly before Christmas. According to the complaint, City National Bank then bounced many of these employees’ final paychecks.
“Mr. Nature was a loyal and trusting customer of City National Bank, and the bank unfortunately broke its promises,” said Damion Robinson, a Los Angeles based attorney representing Mr. Nature. “There is no excuse for the bank’s behavior and it must be held fully responsible.”
If you would like to follow up on this story, please contact Damion Robinson, Esq., Affeld Grivakes LLP, at 310-979-8700.
Damion Robinson, Esq.
Affeld Grivakes LLP