Rouse's, Associated Grocers Dispute Set for Trial

BATON ROUGE (AP) — A bitter legal dispute between a Louisiana supermarket chain and grocery distributor who cut ties in 2008 is scheduled for trial Monday in Thibodaux.

         The Advocate’s Bill Lodge reports the issue is whether Rouses Enterprises was ousted improperly from membership in Associated Grocers in 2008 and whether it was compensated fairly for an ownership interest in the grocery distribution company.

         Rouses is asking the judge to reinstate its membership in Associated Grocers. Associated Grocers unsuccessfully sought dismissal of the case.

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         The jury trial is scheduled before 17th Judicial District Judge F.H. "Buddy" Larose.

         Thibodaux-based Rouses Enterprises opened its first store in Houma in 1960, joining Associated Grocers in 1965. Now, the family chain operates more than 40 Rouses grocery and prepared-food stores across southern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

         The Associated Grocers' website says the firm was founded in 1950 by 17 independent retail grocers. Since then, the Baton Rouge company said it has more than 220 independent supermarket members in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.

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