Seafood supplier sues over lobster heist

Seafood importer and supplier Maxfield Seafood sued Seneca Logistics over a major seafood theft from its warehouse in Boston, Massachusetts.

In the complaint filed in federal court in Massachusetts, Maxfield – which is based out of City of Industry, California – claimed that Seneca was negligent when a truckload of lobster worth USD 318,000 (EUR 271,762) was stolen.

In mid-December 2016, Maxfield called Seneca to request transportation of a truckload of lobster which was to be picked up at two locations in Massachusetts, including one in Everett, according to the complaint. 

A truck arrived at Preferred Freezer Services of Boston Harbor, the cold-storage facility in Everett where Maxfield and their vendors had arranged to store the lobster, and picked up the shipment. A Preferred Freezer representative spoke with Vincent Grandillo, Seneca’s CEO, who authorized Preferred Freezer to release the lobster to a driver named Emesto Perez .

A few days later, Grandillo contacted Maxfield and said the truckload of lobster had been stolen and that Seneca was unable to contact the driver. Grandillo reported the theft to Everett, Massachusetts, police, according to the complaint.

However, unbeknownst to Maxfield, Seneca retained Perez to transport the lobster. “Upon information and belief, Seneca obtained Mr. Perez's information and approached him about shipping the lobster based upon a public listing offering services. Mr. Perez purportedly worked for Rapid Logistics Services, Inc.,” the complaint said. “Upon information and belief, Seneca made no efforts to vet Mr. Perez or Rapid's background or credentials, or otherwise ensure the lobster would be transported as promised by Seneca to Maxfield.”

Maxfield executives did not return a call for comment from SeafoodSource.


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