HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Distribution International Southwest, Inc. (“DI”), a leading distributor and fabricator in the mechanical insulation market, today announced it will be awarded damages exceeding $5 million in a suit filed against Justin Hargis and General Insulation Company.
Distribution International and RHEM LLC (doing business as E.J. Bartells) brought suit against former E.J. Bartells employee, Justin Hargis, and General Insulation Company in Denver District Court for Trade Secret Misappropriation, Breach of the Duty of Loyalty, and Intentional Interference.
On March 20, 2017, after a six day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of DI on all claims asserted at trial and awarded damages of $3,365,000 against Mr. Hargis and General Insulation Company. Additionally, the jury found that Mr. Hargis and General Insulation acted in a willful and wanton or malicious manner and thus awarded punitive damages against General Insulation in the amount of $1,682,500.
Celeste Mastin, CEO of Distribution International said, “We are pleased with this verdict and believe it acknowledges the value of our confidential property and trade secrets as well as reinforces the value of ethical business practices and corporate social responsibility.”
DI was represented by lead counsel Steve Zadravecz of Jones Day, as well as by Ann Rossum of Jones Day and Paul Schwartz of Shoemaker Ghiselli + Schwartz LLC.
About Distribution International (DI)
Founded in 1986, DI is a value added distributor of insulation, related specialty fabricated products, HVAC, and safety supplies in North America. The Houston-based company has 83 branch locations and provides its customers with mission-critical products and services in the commercial building, metal building, chemicals, energy, power, railcar, marine, and residential end markets. The company has grown significantly over the past five years completing 14 acquisitions, including E.J. Bartells in 2015.