Nieces Get Nothing in Dispute with Leprino Foods Owner

Dec. 12, 2022
They tried to claim the CEO forced their father off the board; jury didn’t buy it.

Two nieces of the billionaire owner of Leprino Foods will receive nothing in a dispute with their uncle, a jury in Denver has ruled.

Nancy and Mary Leprino had sued James Leprino, the CEO who had built Leprino Foods into the world’s largest processor of mozzarella cheese. They claimed that he forced his brother, their father, off the company board and deprived them of a loan-back opportunity that he extended to his own daughters, costing them hundreds of millions of dollars.

But after only three hours of deliberation, the jury found for James Leprino, deciding that he did not breach his fiduciary duty or withhold information from his nieces.

At the trial, plaintiffs’ attorneys tried to paint James Leprino as a bitter, spiteful old man who disliked his brother and was taking that out on his nieces. The defense painted Nancy and Mary Leprino as greedy and willing to destroy Leprino Foods to make even more money than they already had.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.

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