Bernstein & Feldman, P.A.

Providing Personal Counsel
And Representation For Over
30 Years

Chilies, like house guests, can be a real nuisance after a while p2

Before we continue with the story of the Sriracha sauce manufacturer and its hometown, we should note that the parties have resolved their legal dispute. The company was on the verge of being declared a public nuisance by the Irwindale city council -- the plant is in California, not Maryland -- when the council voted to drop the matter. The reason is not quite clear, because the council met behind closed doors. For now, though, things are looking up for Sriracha lovers and, of course, the company.

The Huy Fong Foods Inc. factory is a relatively new addition to Irwindale. The plant was under construction for a couple of years, and when it finally started full production last year the neighbors learned just how hot that hot sauce is. 

During the chili grinding season toward the end of summer, residents near the plant started to complain of itchy, burning eyes and throats. The fumes from the chilies, they said, were permeating the air, making their neighborhood almost unlivable.

The city council sued, hoping to force the company to curb the fumes. The court granted a preliminary injunction, ordering Huy Fong to stop "emitting anything that causes odors." The court did not order an immediate shutdown as the city had requested, but did order that the company find a solution, find a way to reduce the fumes that were causing so much trouble.

Over the months that followed, company founder David Tran apparently made no effort to modify the plant. Tran openly criticized the city council, claiming it had acted without investigating the problem. In one statement, Trans stated simply that Huy Fong does not make tear gas. Nevertheless, the city said it had found a filtering system that would be more effective than the existing one and then complained that the company was too cheap to install it. At this point, everyone involved in the dispute was hot under the collar.

We will finish this up in our next post.


Huffington Post, "Sriracha Battle Ends As California City Votes To Drop Nuisance Declaration, Lawsuit Against Huy Fong Foods," The Associated Press, May 29, 2014

KPCC/Southern California Public Radio, Judge orders Sriracha hot sauce maker to get rid of factory odor (Read the full judge's order here), Josie Huang, Nov. 27, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information