ABERDEEN, Miss. — A trucking company here has filed a class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo alleging it and others have been denied access to commercial property being held by the bank on property owned by the recently shuttered United Furniture Industries.
Atkins Trucking LLC filed its suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi Aberdeen Division on Dec. 5.
In addition to Wells Fargo, it names as defendants Focus Management Group, a turnaround company, and Security Associates of Mississippi, a security services company.
The suit said Atkins delivered furniture for United Furniture before Nov. 22, the day before the company announced it was ceasing all operations.
It said that since then, Wells Fargo and Focus Management Group have taken physical possession of facilities owned by United Furniture Industries. It also said that Focus Management Group has hired Security Associates of Mississippi to provide security services at all facilities owned by United and controlled by United and other defendants.
In addition, it claims Wells Fargo is denying the plaintiff and all other individuals that have delivered goods and materials to the company access to the property.
“Defendants have taken wrongful possession of commercial property that belongs to the plaintiff and others similarly situated,” the suit said, adding that the defendants do not possess title, nor security interest in the commercial property that is being withheld.”
As the plaintiffs and others have been unable to regain possession of the property, they “are being deprived of their livelihood,” the suit said.
The suit seeks a jury trial to resolve the matter. In addition, it demands that the plaintiffs be able to retrieve their commercial property and be compensated all attorney’s fees, costs and expenses along with any additional relief the court deems appropriate.
Focus Management Group has declined comment regarding United or any other of its clients.
A Wells Fargo spokesperson provided the following statement to Home News Now regarding the lawsuit:
“After the abrupt shutdown of UFI, immediate actions were taken to put a process in place to help former employees and vendors retrieve their assets from all UFI facilities, which is actively in progress. We disagree with claims made by the individual in the lawsuit, and that individual has been contacted to help him recoup his property. This baseless lawsuit detracts from the important work being done to support UFI’s former employees and vendors, which remains the primary focus.”
This is the second instance where a transportation company has taken legal action regarding property held at United Furniture Industries’ facilities.
On Dec. 2, transportation broker DFW Linq Transport filed a lawsuit against United Furniture Industries and its transportation division UFI Transportation for failure to deliver materials to a client just south of United’s Tupelo, Mississippi, operations.
DFW Linq is now seeking more than $1 million in punitive and compensatory damages relating to what it deems theft of the materials, described in the suit as more than 44,000 pounds of copper wire.