Lawsuit Against a Winery Operator for Breach of Contract In California

In Bronco Wine Co. v. Frank A. Logoluso Farms (1989) 214 Cal. App. 3d 699, a grape grower sued a winery operator for breach of contract and violation of the UCL, based on payments made by the winery for the 1982 grape crop. The trial court found for the grower on both causes of action. It awarded restitution to the grower under section 17200. It also awarded restitution to 27 nonparty growers. The Court of Appeal reversed the restitution award to the nonparty growers. Only one nonparty grower had testified at trial, and the contracts of only 20 growers were introduced into evidence. The situation was complicated by the winery's efforts during and after trial to obtain releases from a number of the nonparty growers. The Court of Appeal concluded that there were "serious fundamental" due process problems in rendering a judgment in favor of a nonparty in the section 17200 case before it and reversed the judgment in favor of the nonparty growers. ( Bronco Wine Co., supra, 214 Cal. App. 3d at pp. 717, 721.)