Legislation Legal  
&
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,  
A
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  
A
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  
be dismissed.)  
In 2014, complaints about warped a problem. This permanent rule took  
siding and even a handful of fires led the effect in January 2016.  
22  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | January 2017  
www.usglassmag.com  
Major Construction-Defect  
Lawsuit Settled  
Under the terms of the final agree- ers have a pattern of shoddy workman-  
ment, the identity of the property, the ship,which results in unsuspecting and  
A settlement in a recent construc- defendants and the insurers were not often disappointed buyers. But, in the  
tion-defect lawsuit highlights some of revealed. While that’s not uncommon, end, homeowners associations are  
the biggest problem areas involving the CEO of the law firm involved in the willing to accept these terms in order  
faulty installation of door and window case says it’s not an ideal situation.  
flashing.  
The Miller Law Firm of Newport out tens of millions of dollars for con-  
to provide such large recoveries to re-  
“When insurance companies pay build their communities.”  
According to the law firm,the midrise  
Beach,Calif.,says it recovered“well into struction defect claims, they require a project was completed in 2006. In 2015,  
the eight figures”for a 300-unit,mixed- full and complete release for all cur- construction defects began to appear,  
use project in Orange County with nu- rent and future claims as well as strict including improper integration of door  
merous serious construction-defect confidentiality,” says Thomas E. Miller, and window flashing causing water in-  
claims. The law firm says it’s one of the CEO of the Miller Law Firm. “Secrecy trusion and corrosion, among others.  
largest construction-defect settlements becomes the norm, and it prevents  
in Orange County in recent years.  
consumers from knowing which build-  
continued on page 24  
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January 2017 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing  
23  
Lconetignuiesdlation&Legal  
FACADES FLOORING COUNTERTOPS  
Honed or Polished  
Available in 12mm, 18mm, 30mm thickness  
Flat or Bent  
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Settlements Reached in  
Steel Lawsuit  
n antitrust lawsuit involving major players in the  
U.S. steel industry is finally coming to a close  
A
after litigation that lasted the better part of the  
last decade.  
In 2008, Pennsylvania-based Standard Iron Works  
and four other companies filed a lawsuit alleging U.S.  
Steel and ArcelorMittal conspired with six other domes-  
tic steel manufacturers “to manipulate the supply and  
price of steel products sold in the United States,” ac-  
cording to court documents.  
Performs like stone  
Made of glass  
The final three defendants in the case, Nucor Corp.,  
Steel Dynamics Inc. and SSAB Swedish Steel Corp., have  
settled for a combined $30 million, bringing the total set-  
tlement amount to $193.9 million. Five other parties—  
ArcelorMittal, U.S. Steel, Commercial Metals Company,  
AK Steel Holding Corp. and Gerdau Ameristeel Corp.—  
reached settlements totaling $163.9 million in 2014. n  
Find out more: www.pulpstudio.com/products/stoneglass  
Pulp Studio, Inc.  West th Street Gardena, CA   
T: -- F: -- E: sales@pulpstudio.com  
24  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | January 2017  
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