SAN ANTONIO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The latest in a string of judicial victories for Steves and Sons, Inc. (www.StevesDoors.com) in its antitrust litigation with JELD-WEN Holding, Inc. (NYSE: JELD) came Friday, August 16, when a Federal judge in Virginia enjoined JELD-WEN from relitigating the same claims in a San Antonio state district court that had been previously tried in Federal court in Virginia.
In a 36-page opinion, Judge Robert E. Payne of the Federal court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a permanent injunction ending JELD-WEN’s attempt to try a virtually identical lawsuit in Texas that had already been tried in his Richmond, Virginia court in which the jury, on May 11, 2018, rejected almost all of JELD-WEN’s core allegations that Steves had misappropriated purported trade secrets.
In his opinion, Judge Payne sated, “JELD-WEN’s efforts to explain why the claims…are different in the Texas case is unconvincing.”
He wrote further, “JELD-WEN already had an opportunity to litigate its claims in the Virginia Action, and it merely wants a second bite at the apple.”
Steves attorney Marvin G. Pipkin said, “The Judge had it absolutely correct in his opinion. JELD-WEN was simply looking for a do-over and that was clear from their actions. Judge Payne rightly put an end to that effort.”
Edward G. Steves, CEO of Steves, said, “JELD-WEN’s attempts to re-try the case were transparent and fooled no one. It was just another play on their part to find a jury that would agree with them, and it didn’t work.”
Sam Bell Steves II, Steves President, said, “Judge Payne’s ruling is another in a long line of opinions that have clearly recognized JELD-WEN’s attempts to use legal sleight-of-hand to obscure the real facts in this case.”
In a landmark lawsuit, Steves had previously won a unanimous February 15, 2018 jury decision in Richmond agreeing with Steves’ assertion that JELD-WEN violated federal antitrust law – specifically, the Clayton Act – by substantially reducing competition in the market for interior molded doorskins in the United States through its acquisition of its former competitor, CMI (which owned a large Towanda, Pennsylvania doorskin manufacturing plant). The jury also sided with Steves in finding that JELD-WEN had breached its long-term doorskin supply agreement with Steves. The jury awarded Steves $58 million in past damages and lost profits, which the Virginia judge trebled to total $174 million.
Doorskins are a vital component for door manufacturing, which is Steves and Sons prime business.
Subsequent to that February 2018 jury decision in Steves’ favor, Judge Payne ruled that JELD-WEN must divest itself of the Towanda plant in order to restore competition in the marketplace. The case is now on appeal in the United States 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. Judge Payne has further ruled that, if the case remains on appeal on September 10, 2021 – the date that their agreement is set to expire – JELD-WEN must extend its supply agreement with Steves for one year beyond the conclusion of the appeal.
Steves and Sons filed its Appellee’s brief in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, August 16.
About Steves and Sons
With interior and exterior door plants in San Antonio, and interior door plants in Richmond, Virginia and Lebanon, Tennessee, Steves and Sons employs more than 1,100 associates. The company 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. (www.StevesDoors.com)
Marvin G. Pipkin, [email protected] or 210-213-3378