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Coffee Exec Spills the Beans, Ordered to Pay

By Alabama Public Radio

Mobile, AL – A Mobile County jury has ordered the Leroy Hill Coffee Company and two of its employees to pay a competing firm $2.5 million. The verdict stemmed from a lawsuit claiming that Hill and some of his employees spread slanderous rumors about the company that's run by his son-in-law, Paul Stewart. They were accused of criticizing the company's product and ethics and describing one of the company's two salespersons as being a coffee thief and a homosexual. Customers testified that Hill's sales representatives had told them that Coffee Pro Incorporated and its employees had shorted their customers. The jurors heard five days of testimony. Mobile County Circuit Judge James Wood had earlier dismissed Hill as a defendant in the case.

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