Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

12. Commitments and Contingencies

12. Commitments and Contingencies
3 Months Ended
Apr. 01, 2017
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies

Contracts:  We have entered into material contracts with three appliance manufacturers.  Under the agreements there are no minimum purchase commitments; however, we have agreed to indemnify the manufacturers for certain claims, allegations or losses with respect to appliances we sell.




On November 6, 2015, a complaint was filed in the Minnesota District Court for Hennepin County, Minnesota, by David Gray and Michael Boller, purporting to bring suit derivatively and on behalf of the Company against twelve current and former officers and directors of the Company. The complaint alleges that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties based on substantially similar allegations to those asserted in Mr. Feola's putative securities class action complaint, and that the defendants have been unjustly enriched as a result thereof. The complaint seeks damages, disgorgement, an award of attorneys’ fees and other expenses, and an order compelling changes to the Company’s corporate governance and internal procedures. This matter has been stayed by the court, pursuant to a stipulation of the parties, until the United States District Court for the Central District of California determines the legal sufficiency of Mr. Feola's complaint or other specified developments occur in that case. This matter has been submitted to our insurance carriers. Given the uncertainty of litigation and the preliminary stage of this case, we cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss or range of loss that may result from these actions. The Company maintains liability insurance policies that may reduce the Company’s exposure, if any.


In February 2012, various individuals commenced a class action lawsuit against Whirlpool Corporation (“Whirlpool”) and various distributors of Whirlpool products, including Sears, The Home Depot, Lowe’s and us, alleging certain appliances Whirlpool sold through its distribution chain, which includes us, were improperly designated with the ENERGY STAR® qualification rating established by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.  The claims against us include breach of warranty claims, as well as various state consumer protection claims.  The amount of the claim is, as yet, undetermined.  Whirlpool has offered to fully indemnify and defend its distributors in this lawsuit, including us, and has engaged legal counsel to defend itself and the distributors.  We are monitoring Whirlpool’s defense of the claims and believe the possibility of a material loss is remote.


AMTIM Capital, Inc. (“AMTIM”) acts as our representative to market our recycling services in Canada under an arrangement that pays AMTIM for revenues generated by recycling services in Canada as set forth in the agreements between the parties.  A dispute has arisen between AMTIM and us with respect to the calculation of amounts due to AMTIM pursuant to the agreement.  In a lawsuit filed in the province of Ontario, AMTIM claims a discrepancy in the calculation of fees due to AMTIM by us of approximately $2,000.  Although the outcome of this claim is uncertain, we believe that no further amounts are due under the terms of the agreement and will continue to defend our position relative to this lawsuit.


We are party from time to time to ordinary course disputes that we do not believe to be material or have merit.  We intend to vigorously defend ourselves against these ordinary course disputes.