Façade Company Awarded $14.5 Million
in Lawsuit Against Former President
federal jury has awarded Tesla secrets in order to create a separate by the planning, purchasing, stafﬁng
Wall Systems $14.5 million in company to compete against Tesla in and operation of a competing façade
damages after its former pres- the same line of business and for the business”while president.The company
ident was accused of stealing trade same projects.” The complaint added also claimed he intentionally withheld
secrets and interfering with business that Budd “left Tesla and absconded information and access to Crown Corr,
upon leaving the company.
with Tesla’s confidential information, the contract glazier Tesla worked with to
A 10-day trial in late-November 2016 as well as other critical data, infor- install its façade systems.
resulted in a verdict favoring Tesla and mation and material necessary for
According to the complaint, when
against its former president Michael the company’s continuing operation.” Budd left the company in May 2014, he
Budd. Budd resigned in 2014 after less
According to court documents, Tesla took with him conﬁdential company
than two years and was subject to cer- manufactures its façade systems in information subject to the conﬁden-
tain contractual provisions, which Tesla Asia and has a branch in Las Vegas.The tiality provisions of his employment
claims he violated.
In a 2014 complaint, Tesla alleged under Delaware state laws.
Budd, during and after his employ- According to the complaint,Tesla said the ﬁrm Kasowitz Benson Torres &
U.S. unit, which Budd led, is organized agreement.
Budd’s attorney, Marc Kasowitz and
ment, “misappropriated confiden- Budd “misappropriated and interfered Friedman, hadn’t responded to request
tial company information and trade with company business opportunities for comment as of press time.
Lawsuit Raises Questions About
Windows Melting Vinyl Siding
lawsuit in Oregon over melted
The lawsuit, which was ﬁled in Au- North Carolina Building Code Council to
vinyl siding is revisiting the gust in U.S. District Court in Portland, adopt an emergency rule that would
question of what role, if any, Ore., could become a national class allow builders to use non-low-E glass
windows might play in such events.
Michael Harney of Beaverton, Ore., is
action case. in situations where they could foresee
“While the precise number is un- reﬂections causing a problem. However,
suing Associated Materials of Cuyahoga known at this time … the proposed after intense lobbying by AAMA, the Win-
Falls, Ohio, the makers of Alside siding, Class may be comprised of at least dow and Door Manufacturers Associa-
for allegedly not honoring its warranty thousands of members,” lawyers for tion (WDMA) and other industry groups,
after Harney said a house he sold in Oc- the plaintiff said in their complaint, the North Carolina Rules Review Com-
tober 2015 had melted siding. The com- which noted that there are at least 100 mission rejected the rule.
plaint says Alside rejected his warranty potential class members who could
claim because it believed the melting claim damages in excess of $5 million. olina Building Code Council changed
was caused by an unusual heat source, Low-E glass has been standard in the energy conservation section of the
In fall 2015, though, the North Car-
according to court documents. Harney’s building codes for years, and today state building code to allow substitu-
complaint alleges that the vinyl siding is in more than 81 percent of all res- tion of windows when they have been
melted while being exposed to “natural idential windows, according to the either shown to cause a problem relat-
conditions” and is thus covered under American Architectural Manufacturers ing to concentrated solar reﬂection or
the warranty. (Attorneys for Associated Association (AAMA).
it can be determined they could cause
Materials have requested that the suit
In 2014, complaints about warped a problem. This permanent rule took
siding and even a handful of ﬁres led the effect in January 2016.
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | January 2017