A onetime commercial customer of Hibernia Corp. has sued the banking company, seeking $135 million of damages.
Console Foods Inc. of Lindsay, Calif., filed its lawsuit Friday in Superior Court for Tulare County, Calif. The frozen vegetable producer said that the $14 billion-asset banking company had assured it of a steady stream of funding but that Hibernia reneged on its credit commitment after financial difficulties this year.
In March, Hibernia cut profit estimates by 35%, primarily because of losses on loans to bankrupt subprime lenders.
"We feel the bank has severely crippled our operations by failing to fulfill funding agreements and by otherwise engaging in conduct that has damaged the company," a Console spokesman said in a statement.
A spokesman for Hibernia said in a statement that the bank has not yet been served with the complaint and that its first knowledge of it came from Console's press release.
"If there is a lawsuit, we will defend our position vigorously," he said.