Marble Dimensions wins $1.75 million verdict against Home Casual
Jury takes only 90 minutes to decide handshakes count
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, 8/17/2011 3:50:00 PM
DAYTON, Ohio — After almost three weeks of trial in federal court, Marble Dimensions Worldwide, one of the largest designers and suppliers of table tops for the U.S. outdoor furniture industry, won its lawsuit against former customer Home Casual, which it accused of interfering with its business relationship with another manufacturer, located in China.
A federal court jury in Dayton, Ohio, deliberated only 90 minutes before issuing a $1.75 million verdict against Home Casual, one of the world's largest outdoor furniture manufacturers. Home Casual has more than 18,000 employees and owns Plantation Patterns Furniture Company and other brands, including Tommy Bahama outdoor. Home Casual supplies outdoor furniture to mass market and home improvement retailers including Home Depot, Target, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Kmart, Sears, Ace Hardware, Kohls and Menards.
Even though family-owned Marble Dimension had no written contract with the Chinese manufacturer, the federal court jury found that the Centerville, Ohio-based company had established enough of a business relationship that the interference by Home Casual was considered not only unlawful, but malicious. The $1.75 million verdict against Home Casual included punitive damages of $250,000 and the jury also ordered Home Casual to pay Marble Dimension's attorney fees.
"Our family is thrilled and relieved that justice has finally been served," Marble Dimensions owner David Stegman Sr. said. "We are pleased we were able to have our day in court and that the members of the jury saw the true facts."
"The verdict is a strong message that citizens of Southwest Ohio expect businesses and their executives to act with integrity," lead attorney Toby Henderson said. "When they do not, companies like Home Casual will be held responsible. This is a well-deserved result for Marble Dimensions and it is always a privilege to represent any client, large or small, who refuses to back down when it has been treated unfairly."
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