Discovery Begins and Trial Date Set in EcoArk Holdings and Zest Labs’ $2 Billion Lawsuit Against Walmart
SAN JOSE, Calif. – October 23, 2018 – Zest Labs™, an AgTech company modernizing the post-harvest fresh food supply chain, today announced that a trial date has been set and discovery has begun in its lawsuit against Walmart in federal court in Arkansas. The court’s scheduling order sets trial in the case for June 1, 2020 and includes a schedule for discovery. The claims against Walmart in this case include breach of contract, violation of the Arkansas Trade Secrets Act, violation of the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, unfair competition, unjust enrichment, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, conversion, and fraud. The damages at issue exceed $2 billion.
“We are pleased that the claims in Zest Labs’ complaint are proceeding to discovery and that the court has set the case for trial in June 2020,” stated Peter Mehring, Zest Labs CEO.
Zest Labs has developed innovative solutions such as Zest Fresh, which is proven to reduce field to shelf food waste by 50 percent or more while improving delivered freshness to consumers. The data and insights provided by Zest Fresh also help growers, food distributors and retailers reduce the $85 billion problem of fresh food waste. Zest Labs is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ecoark Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: ZEST), to be renamed Zest Technologies, Inc.
Zest Labs engaged with Walmart to demonstrate the value of Zest Fresh to reduce waste and improve delivered shelf life consistency. During this time, Zest Labs proprietary information and trade secrets were shared with Walmart under a mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). In late 2017, after in depth access to and reviews of Zest Lab’s solution, technology and approach, Walmart informed EcoArk and Zest Labs that it would not license or deploy Zest Fresh. In March 2018, Walmart publicly announced Eden to, “keep track of food freshness all the way from the farms to our stores,” and would, “eliminate $2 billion in waste over the next five years.”
The discovery process in this case will allow Zest Labs and its lawyers to gain access to documents held by Walmart that will shed light on activities inside of Walmart that lead to the lawsuit and will provide documentation to support Zest Labs’ claims. The discovery process will also allow Zest Labs to obtain testimony from the Walmart executives and employees who were involved in the activities that gave rise to this case.
A copy of the scheduling order is available here: http://www.zestlabs.com/downloads/2018-10-22--CRT-Agreed-Scheduling-Order.pdf. For more details about the filed complaint, please visit https://www.zestlabs.com/zest-labs-ceo-peter-mehring-on-the-walmart-lawsuit.
About Zest Labs
Zest Labs, a subsidiary of Ecoark Holdings, Inc., provides a growing suite of freshness management solutions that substantially improve quality consistency and drive sustainability for a wide range of clients. Zest Labs provides solutions to modernize the existing food distribution and delivery system by significantly increasing efficiency through continuous condition monitoring and real-time prescriptive analytics. To learn more about Zest Labs, please click here. To watch a video about Zest Fresh, please click here.
About Ecoark Holdings Inc.
Founded in 2011, Ecoark is an AgTech company modernizing the post-harvest fresh food supply chain for a wide range of organizations including growers, distributors and retailers. The company’s Zest Fresh™ solution, a breakthrough approach to quality management of post-harvest fresh food, is specifically designed to help substantially reduce the $161 billion amount of food loss the U.S. experiences each year. Through item-level monitoring and real-time predictive analytics, Zest Fresh enables customers to improve the freshness and quality of produce, realize substantial cost savings and reduce food waste. To learn more about Zest Fresh click here.
Forward Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements concerning the business and possible or assumed future results of operations of Zest Labs; and statements concerning the ability of Zest Labs’ technology to improve delivered quality consistency, significantly reduce perishable food waste, drive sustainability, and increase efficiency in the industry. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements for many reasons including: access to growth capital on favorable terms; adverse economic changes affecting markets we serve; competition in our markets and industry segments; our timing and the profitability of entering new markets; greater than expected costs, customer acceptance of our products or difficulties related to our integration of the businesses we may acquire; and other risks and uncertainties as may be detailed from time to time in our public announcements and SEC filings. Although we believe the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, they relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made, and our future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements may not meet these expectations. We do not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this document to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations, except as required by law.
Zeno Group for Zest Labs