Jeld-Wen receives unfavorable verdict in Steves & Sons lawsuit
JELD-WEN Holding announced that a jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, has returned a verdict in the lawsuit filed against its wholly owned subsidiary JELD-WEN, by Steves & Sons. The verdict was unfavorable to JELD-WEN with respect to Steves' claims that JELD-WEN's 2012 acquisition of CraftMaster violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act and that JELD-WEN breached the supply agreement between the parties. The verdict awards Steves $12,151,873 for past damages under both the Clayton Act and breach of contract claims and $46,480,581 in future lost profits under the Clayton Act claim. The Company expects that Steves will be required to elect to recover its past damages either under the Clayton Act claims or the contract claims, but not both. If a judgment is entered under the Clayton Act, any damages awarded will be trebled. In addition, if a judgment is entered under either theory in accordance with the verdict, Steves will be entitled to an award of attorneys fees. JELD-WEN's position is that, because future lost profits were awarded, Steves is not permitted to pursue its claim for divestiture of certain assets acquired in the CMI acquisition. The Company continues to believe that the facts underlying this dispute do not establish either a violation of the antitrust laws or a breach of contract. The Company notes that both before and after the CMI acquisition, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice reviewed the transaction and did not challenge it. JELD-WEN believes that multiple pretrial and trial rulings were erroneous and improperly limited the Company's defenses, and that judgment in accordance with the verdict would be improper for several reasons under applicable law. JELD-WEN intends to vigorously oppose entry of an adverse judgment, and to appeal any adverse judgment that may be entered. Accordingly, the Company does not believe that the ultimate outcome of this matter will have a material impact on its ability to operate in the ordinary course of business. JELD-WEN's claims against Steves and others related to misappropriation of trade secrets remain pending and are set for trial in April 2018.