Alston & Bird resolves dispute over legal advice during pandemic
Mark One Wipes, an Ohio-based company, has alleged in a lawsuit that Alston & Bird had committed legal malpractice related to deficient legal advice that resulted in more than $1 million in damages for the company. Image from Shutterstock.
Law firm Alston & Bird has resolved a federal lawsuit over its regulatory advice on the imports of hand sanitizing wipes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mark One Wipes, an Ohio-based company, filed the suit against Alston & Bird in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in February 2022, alleging that the firm had committed legal malpractice related to deficient legal advice that resulted in more than $1 million in damages for the company.
Mark One Wipes said in its complaint it hired Alston & Bird to provide advice on the proper labeling of hand sanitizing wipes. While its attorneys “claimed to be well versed on FDA compliance matters, the advice these attorneys provided for the language to include on the label was fundamentally incorrect, causing U.S. Customs to reject the wipes for import into the United States,” according to the complaint.
As a result, Mark One Wipes claimed that it had thousands of hand sanitizing wipes that it could not sell.
“This left Mark One Wipes unable to recover its financial outlays related to the production of the wipes, including but not limited to its manufacturing costs, shipping costs, storage costs and other related costs,” according to the company’s complaint. “In order to fulfill its contracts, Mark One Wipes was required to buy replacement wipes on the market, to the extent it could. The profits on these wipes were a fraction of the profit it would have made had defendants simply provided accurate advice.”
Alston & Bird, which is based in Atlanta, responded to the suit in May 2022, denying the allegations and alleging that “the losses and damages claimed by plaintiff were directly and proximately caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiff’s own acts and conduct.”
The firm also said in a counterclaim that Mark One Wipes breached its contract by failing to pay more than $143,000 in legal fees.
“Mark One Wipes has not paid Alston for any legal services rendered by Alston,” the firm said. “As a result, Mark One Wipes has been unjustly enriched by receipt and enjoyment of legal services without payment and for which payment was expected and requested.”
According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Helmick of the Northern District of Ohio dismissed the case Thursday after Alston & Bird and Mark One Wipes announced that they resolved their dispute.
Reuters also said they did not reveal other details, and that neither party responded to requests for comment.