April 7, 2015 – Howard Law Group prevailed once again in a Michigan court for its client LidoChem, parent company of Performance Nutrition, a supplier of environmentally friendly fertilizers and crop protection products for the agriculture and turf markets. Judge Robert J. Jonker affirmed the award of $12 million to LidoChem. The decision comes more than a year after a jury found Stoller Enterprises, Jerry Stoller and David Alexander violated the Lanham Act which protects consumers and companies from false claims.
“We had substantial evidence that Stoller and its executives were intentionally spreading falsehoods about LidoChem and its Performance Nutrition products over a 10 -year period that ultimately interfered with LidoChem’s business relationships resulting in a substantial impact on the company and its brand,” said William D. Howard, lead attorney for LidoChem.
The original verdict came down on March 26, 2014 after a 20-hour trial in the United States District Court Western District of Michigan Southern Division (Case Number: 1:09-CV-204) when a unanimous jury awarded LidoChem, a $12 million judgment. Still to come are oral arguments, which could award as much as triple damages to LidoChem, should the judge decide to increase the award due to the egregious actions of Stoller as well as the jury’s determination that the actions were intentional.
“We are pleased once again that our reputation has been cleared by this case and we can continue to develop quality products the protect the environment and help farmers to increase yields to feed the world,” said Don J. Pucillo, president of LidoChem.
LidoChem’s legal team is convinced this decision will impact future Lanham Act cases that involve products especially developed for the agriculture industry.
“This case focused on the workings of the actual industry such as how products were advertised and distributed to the ultimate consumer, and the damage resulting when any portion of that process was disrupted by false advertising,” said Jean Treece, co-lead counsel at the Howard Law Group. “This decision was the proverbial nail in the coffin in convincing at least one other circuit to finally recognize that word of mouth, person to person, communications constituted commercial advertising and promotion.”