David Blanco and Blanco Cigar Co. has sued Tom Werther, the founder of Line of Duty Cigars over claims of defamation, libel and tortious interference.
Per the lawsuit—filed in the Florida Circuit for the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Pinellas County, Fla.—Blanco claims the parties had an oral agreement which began in 2016 to have Blanco Cigar Co. produce cigars for Werther’s Line of Duty Cigars, LLC.
The issues started in October 2017 when Werther rejected a shipment of 2,000 cigars. Blanco says that his company then decided to begin selling the Line of Duty cigars that Werther had rejected.
On Feb. 2, 2018, Blanco alleges that Werther began making defamatory statements on Facebook.
Those statements include:
You are all aware that there is a cigar company based in Clearwater Fla selling unauthorized Line of Duty Cigars. I took the high road and emailed them simply asking them to stop and to respond to the email within 7 days. No response. Well today, I’m walking through a festival in St. Pete’s [sic] Beach and a vendor is selling unauthorized Line of Duty cigar [sic]. He bought them directly from David Blanco at Blanco Cigars. Is Blanco cigars so desperate as to sell unauthorized LOD cigars? The worst part, worse than stealing my trademark and shitting all over the hard work I’ve done, is that the retailer has been telling their customers there’s donations going to families of Police Officers, FF’s and Soldiers. David Blanco and Blanco cigars are a disgrace to this industry as well as the families he is misrepresenting.
Social media is a bitch!!! Live and die by it. Well, someone is going to die by it.
Hmm, Clearwater. Home 0f the thieves that are fraudulently selling counterfeit Line of Duty Cigars. Lovely.
The guy I met earlier, spent $2500 on the fake LOD cigars. He said ‘so I’ve been lying to my customers when I told them a portion of sales go to PD/FD/Military charities?’ I said ‘No, David Blanco lied to you, it’s not your fault’ and he took my card and will order REAL LOD cigars. Pathetic.
Blanco then alleges Werther encouraged others on social media to “engage in a social media attack” on Blanco’s social media pages. He alleges that the company’s Facebook page’s rating decreased from 5.0 to 2.6 and the Google page decreased from 5.0 to 2.8 cigars.
Many of those attacks are centered around whether or not Blanco was donating part of the proceeds to charities, specifically those centered around military and first responder charities. Line of Duty says it donates a minimum of 10 percent of its sales to select charities. Blanco claims that his company never implied, explicitly or otherwise, that any of the proceeds of the 2,000 rejected cigars would be donated.
Blanco is seeking a trial by jury.
Last May, Werther announced that Fabrica Oveja Negra was producing Line of Duty cigars.
Werther declined to comment.