New Chapters in Landmark Antitrust Litigation - Richmond Jury Rejects Core Allegations of JELD-WEN’s Trade Secrets Case
May 16, 2018
Legal Newswire POWERED BY LAW.COM
San Antonio, Texas, -- San Antonio-based door manufacturer Steves and Sons, Inc. (www.stevesdoors.com) has received a second favorable jury verdict in its ongoing battle with JELD-WEN Holding, Inc (NYSE:JELD) to restore competition in the market for interior molded doorskins. Interior molded door skins are a key component for almost all interior molded doors, the most popular type of interior door sold in the United States.
After a two week trial, which ended May 11, 2018, the jury rejected 59 of JELD-WEN’s 67 alleged trade secrets and awarded just three percent of the almost $40 million in damages JELD-WEN sought. Additionally, the jury totally rejected all of JELD-WEN’s allegations that Steves had sought to harm JELD-WEN.
“We always believed JELD-WEN filed their claim primarily to serve as a noisy and costly distraction to our original antitrust claims, since many of the so-called ‘trade secrets’ involved information JELD-WEN had an obligation to provide Steves under the parties’ supply agreement” said Marvin Pipkin, attorney for Steves and Sons.
“The jury’s verdict shows that the claim by JELD-WEN was nothing but a sideshow and not relevant to the larger issue, which is JELD-WEN’s antitrust violation found by a different jury earlier this year,” Pipkin said.
Specifically, in February another Richmond, VA jury unanimously found that JELD-WEN’s acquisition of a former competitor, CraftMaster (CMI), violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act, which prohibits acquisitions where the effect is to “substantially lessen competition” in a relevant product market. The jury in the antitrust case awarded damages to Steves and Sons totaling over $58 million that under Clayton Act will be trebled, resulting in a total award well in excess of $170 million, plus attorneys’ fees.
That jury also found that JELD-WEN’s conduct breached its supply agreement with Steves by improperly overcharging it for doorskins. The antitrust case has now moved forward to an upcoming ruling by a U.S. Federal District Judge for additional remedies, including whether, in order to restore industry competition, the court should order that JELD-WEN divest itself of its Towanda, PA facility, which a jury decided that JELD-WEN obtained in an illegal merger.
“Last week’s trade secret verdict is clearly in line with our belief that JELD-WEN’s allegations of wrongdoing against Steves and Sons and any claimed harm to JELD-WEN were exaggeratedand not worthy of the time and resources JELD-WEN caused the parties and the jury to devote to the trade secrets trial,” Pipkin said.
The trade secret allegations arose out of the fact that “Steves and Sons explored the possibility of building its own molded doorskin manufacturing facility,” Pipkin explained. “Such a move would be a major undertaking and, not having been in the business of making doorskins, which are key components in door manufacturing, Steves hired consultants, some of whom had previously worked for JELD-WEN years ago.”
“We are convinced the information gathered from those consultants is generally available throughout the doorskin industry, and specifically available in the medium density fiberboard business, and certainly are not ‘trade secrets,’” Pipkin said.
For more information, contact Marvin Pipkin @ 210.731.6495 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Steves and Sons... Building Quality Millwork Since 1866
Since 1866 the Steves family has always been involved in the company. Today, six generations later, with multiple generations actively involved in the business, Steves and Sons continues its commitment to quality, craftsmanship and style. The Steves family founded the company on the principles of conservative growth and environmental responsibility. That hallmark remains today in every product Steves & Sons manufactures. From incorporating recycled materials, to making products that can conceivably last as long as the application, the Steves family is proud to build on the tradition of environmental respect and responsibility. As an American family success story, Steves & Sons will continue to offer quality and service at a fair price for generations to come.
Steves headquarters is in San Antonio, with interior and exterior door plants in San Antonio, and interior door plant locations in Lebanon, Tennessee and Richmond, Virginia. Today Steves employs over 1,100 associates. With unmatched quality at an outstanding value, Steves and Sons continues to build its business and reputation among builders and homeowners across the country with continued emphasis on quality materials, new technology and efficient distribution.
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Steves & Sons
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