News & Updates

Fiberglass and Friendship—A Winning Team

A team from two Indianapolis law firms recently won a two-week jury trial in a trade secret lawsuit tried in U.S. District Court of Colorado, securing a defense verdict for a mutual client facing a claim of over $200 million in damages.

The team of lawyers from Woodard, Emhardt, Moriarty, McNett & Henry LLP (Woodard) and Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP (BGD) capitalized on the respective strengths of the two firms to create an efficient, highly-focused and diverse team that took the case through massive ESI, other discovery and to trial. The lead defense attorneys were Spiro Bereveskos and Dan Lueders from Woodard and Rusty Denton and Bri Clark from BGD.

The team represented Knauf Insulation, Inc. (Knauf), a fiberglass insulation manufacturer headquartered in Shelbyville, Indiana. The lawsuit was filed by a Knauf competitor, Denver-based Johns Manville Corporation (JM). The lawsuit centered on technology relative to super-alloy spinner discs used to make insulation and began primarily as a patent case. JM claimed infringement of its “unique, novel and nonobvious spinner disc alloy.” JM also claimed misappropriation of alleged spinner disc trade secret information. The District Court dismissed JM’s patent claim with prejudice before trial. At trial in Denver, only three of JM’s alleged trade secret claims were presented to the jury over nine days of trial ending on November 9.
After less than three hours of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict that, in view of Knauf’s defense, JM failed to prove its claims of misappropriation. The verdict represented a complete exoneration of Knauf. Bereveskos said, “I am proud of the talented team we assembled and grateful the jury was able to see that Knauf was correct.”

The firms credit their unique collaboration to the personal relationship between two of the lead attorneys, Rusty Denton and Dan Lueders. Denton said, “I have known and worked with Dan for almost twenty years. I have the highest respect for him and his firm, and I knew that together, we could tap into the unique skills of our two firms.” The team combined Woodard’s specialized technical resources, BGD’s deep litigation support and the trial skills and experience of both firms to create a winning team. “It was classic team play. Everyone contributed and subordinated themselves to the good of the client and the cause,” said Lueders.