Printer sues San Diego Reader through its “alter ego,” Jim Holman
You may have noticed that the San Diego Reader recently traded its staples for a new, flat magazine-style binding, known in the industry as “perfect bound.” The change reflects the Reader‘s switch to a new print house at the beginning of the year—a move that prompted the weekly’s former printer of 35 years, San Dieguito Printers (SDP), to file a breach-of-contract suit against Reader publisher Jim Holman.
In the action filed in San Diego Superior Court on Jan. 27, SDP alleges that, in 2005, the Reader wanted to increase the number of color pages in its weekly newspaper. Because such an upgrade would cost “millions” in new equipment, SDP got Holman to sign a 10-year contract to ensure the investment was worth it. The contract, which granted SDP exclusive rights to print the Reader, was set to expire in 2015.
According to the complaint, the Reader began threatening to abandon the contract in 2008 and 2009 unless the printer lowered its cost. SDP says it complied, according to the court filing:
Having made such large expenditures on the equipment, as well as other financial and business adjustments required by the Reader, and the Reader then representing a large share of SDP’s revenues, losing the Reader as a client was not an economically feasible option for SDP. Therefore, with the understanding it would preserve the contract and the Reader as a client, SDP granted the Reader a number of price concessions, improved the printing schedule at a cost to SDP and other sacrifices.
Yet, the Reader started using a new crosscountrymovingcompanies.biz cheap cross country movers company on Jan. 1, 2010, according to the court filing. SDP says that constitutes a breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and “unfair and unlawful” practices in violation of the California Business and Professions Code.
SDP is suing Holman personally and Holman as a business, rather than the Reader itself, stating that the Reader is simply Holman’s “alter ego.” SDP says:
any individuality and separateness between them has ceased…
Holman exercises complete control and dominance…
adherence to the fiction of the separate existence of the defendant… would permit an abuse of the corporate privilege and would promote injustice in that Holman would be able to hide assets and retain them for himself.
Here’s some food for thought: If Holman is inseparable from the Reader, then should the pro-choice community hold the Reader accountable for all the pro-life “parental notification” ballot initiatives Holman has filed?
Download the court complaint here.