Swisher International, a major Jacksonville manufacturer of cigarillos and cigars, lost its case against the company Trendsettah on Wednesday and was hit with $44.4 million in damages.
Trendsettah said it entered into an agreement with Swisher to produce its Splitarillo product line, and then Swisher strangled the growth of the products when they were becoming more popular by restricting production.
The jury found Swisher broke its agreement with TSI and that it broke Section 2 of the Sherman Act, ramping up the $14.8 million in damages up to $44.4 million.
Swisher said it was exploring its options in fighting the verdict.
“We strongly disagree with the verdict,” said Joe Augustus, senior vice president of global affairs for Swisher. “We are considering all our options, including appeal.”
Jensen covers logistics, trade manufacturing and defense.