CHARLESTON – A West Virginia company is suing over claims unknown persons set up an email account pretending to be from the company to damage its reputation.

Galaxy Distributing of West Virginia filed a lawsuit Oct. 28 in Kanawha Circuit Court against John Doe No. 1 and Jane Doe No. 1, citing fraud.

According to the complaint, Galaxy is a beer and wine distributor with business relationships with beer and wine retailers in West Virginia and suppliers domestic and abroad. Galaxy says two such relationships, with Kroger Co. and Food Lion Co., have been damaged by the defendants maliciously portraying themselves as employees of Galaxy in order to interfere with and damage Galaxy's business.

The complaint states the unknown defendants set up an email account portraying itself as originating with Galaxy and have sent emails to businesses involved with Galaxy with the purpose of damaging said relationships. The defendants are accused of tortious interference and fraud - false assumption of identity.

The plaintiff seeks injunctive relief directing the defendants' conduct to cease, as well as punitive, annoyance and convenience, and lost profit and loss of goodwill damages.

Galaxy is represented by attorney Christopher A. Brumley of Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1933

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