LidoChem Inc., parent company of Performance Nutrition, was awarded triple damages totaling $44.5 million, the maximum allowance under the law, against Stoller Enterprises on Jan. 5 in a Michigan court.
The decision comes nearly two years after a jury found Stoller Enterprises Inc., Jerry Stoller and David Alexander willfully violated the Lanham Act, which protects consumers and companies from false claims. The Court found that Stoller set out on a mission to knock out a competitor — LidoChem — by spreading false information, even to the point of concocting a false lab report.
“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,” says William D. Howard, lead attorney for LidoChem.
This final decision puts to an end a decade-long ordeal for Don Pucillo, president of LidoChem, who, with business partner Lisa Pucillo, initially filed suit to have the court recognize and stop Stoller’s anti-competitive business activities that the court called “intentional” and “egregious.”
“We are vindicated and humbled by the court’s decision to uphold and clear our company’s name and reputation. With this behind us, we have a renewed focus to provide our customers in the agricultural community with products that save money and increase crop yields and quality,” Pucillo says.