Amazon Sues Over Fraudulent PPE Gloves Sale

`On Tuesday, Amazon filed a lawsuit against Paradigm Clinical Research Institute Inc. and their representatives, Ramprasad Dandillaya and Juan Jesus Rojas de Borbon, for fraud and breach of contract. The suit alleges that the defendants knowingly lied to and deceived Amazon a multitude of times throughout their six-month business relationship, which spanned from July 2020 to September of that same year. 

The complaint explained that at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon was in short supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and was looking for new manufacturers after failing to get the necessary supply of FDA-approved rubber gloves from their current vendors. After reaching out to Paradigm in mid-April about a potential order, de Borbon allegedly claimed that his company had access to a large supply of PPE gloves and began negotiating with Amazon. They eventually came to terms on a deal for 80 million gloves to be shipped to Amazon in exchange for $20 million. Part of that agreement stated that amazon would pay 50% to the defendants up front and complete the payment upon delivery of the product. 

Amazon’s company policy requires a safety data sheet (SDS) to be submitted before any business is made final with a vendor. These sheets include name, brand, factory location, product photos, and other required certifications. The plaintiff stated that Paradigm and its associates sent Amazon forged documents which stated that Rubbermate, a legitimate FDA-approved PPE vendor that was compliant with all relevant manufacturing standards, would be in charge of providing the first shipment of 80 million gloves. 

Once all of this information was reviewed by Amazon and Rubbermate was approved as a legitimate manufacturer, they officially placed the order and sent Paradigm $10 million upfront, spread across two orders, in exchange for 35 million gloves. 

The plaintiffs cited continuous instances of misrepresentation as de Borbon continued to make claims of legitimacy throughout Amazon’s periodic check-ins and sent photos of boxes labeled with the Rubbermate branding. As time passed, Paradigm allegedly became less and less responsive to queries from Amazon and seemed to be evading communication. De Borbon eventually passed communications on to Paradigm owner Ramprasad Dandillaya, who continued to keep up the purported deception.

Eventually Amazon received a shipment of gloves in late June, however, it was not the 20 million FDA approved gloves that had been agreed upon. Instead, 1.25 million pairs of gloves labeled “SkyMed” were delivered to Amazon, which they later discovered was not a FDA approved brand made by Rubbermate, but a company called Sufficiency City Ltd. After looking into the company they discovered that the gloves they manufactured did not satisfy any of the criteria that the parties had agreed upon.

Amazon said they then went to the website and Facebook page of Rubbermate and discovered that this brand of gloves was being falsely advertised by scammers as a Rubbermate product. 

Upon gathering this information, Amazon contacted Paradigm and requested a refund. This request was promptly denied, which breached the contract agreed upon by both parties.

The plaintiff is accusing the defendant of purchase order breaches, Violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act, and Fraud in the Inducement. The plaintiff is seeking reimbursement for punitive/exemplary damages, all accrued fees, and all other damages allowed by law. They also asked the court to prevent defendants from further perpetuating their frauds upon others in the future.

The plaintiff is represented by Davis Wright Tremaine