Steves and Sons Inc. Files New Antitrust Lawsuit Against Jeld-Wen

February 18th, 2020 by Emmariah Holcomb

February 14, 2020, wasn’t just Valentine’s Day across the country, but the day that door manufacturer Steves and Sons Inc. (Steves) filed a new antitrust lawsuit against Jeld-Wen Inc. (Jeld-Wen). The case is just one of many legal battles waged between the two door manufacturers in recent years. According to court documents, a Federal Court Judge set a hearing date for March 3, 2020, for an “expedited review of Steves’ request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction regarding Jeld-Wen’s continuing string of anticompetitive practices.”

“Jeld-Wen’s latest attempt to put Steves out of business by withholding hundreds of thousands of doorskins it is contractually obligated to supply has critically endangered Steves’ viability,” a portion of the memorandum in support of Steves’ motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) reads. “Since Jeld-Wen began cutting off supply in late October, Steves has been forced to turn away numerous customers because of its inability to fill their orders for finished doors.”

Steves’ TRO alleges Jeld-Wen “managed to tarnish what took Steves over a century to cultivate and imperiled Steves’ ability to continue operating.”

According to a court memorandum, officials for Steves feel the company should also be granted a preliminary injunction, which would force Jeld-Wen to comply with an existing supply agreement.

“Steves thus respectfully requests that this court issue a TRO and preliminary injunction ordering Jeld-Wen to comply with the Supply Agreement—including filling Steves’ doorskin orders, timely delivering doorskins to Steves, and terminating allocation effective retroactively, or, alternatively, properly applying allocation in accordance with the Supply Agreement—while Steves pursues the contractually mandated alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process set forth in the Supply Agreement with respect to its breach of contract claim,” a portion of the memorandum reads.

The court noted the possibility for Steves to succeed with its new suit.

“Steves made a substantial showing of likelihood of success and irreparable injury by virtue of the facts shown on the record,” said Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Payne.

“Jeld-Wen continues in its efforts to ‘kill off’ Steves before the remedies already awarded to Steves can be implemented to restore competition in the marketplace . . . Most recently, Jeld-Wen has begun to choke off Steves’ timely access to interior molded doorskins, an essential input in Steves’ business of making residential doors . . . As a result, Steves has been unable to meet its customers’ demands for doorskins, and will not be able to meet those demands so long as Jeld-Wen’s actions continue,” portions of Steves’ new antitrust complaint against Jeld-Wen reads.

Jeld-Wen responded to [DWM]’s request for comment with a statement of its own.

“The newest lawsuit filed by Steves and Sons is related to a contract dispute and is different than the existing litigation that we have appealed,” said Gary Michel, president and CEO.

“It misconstrues the facts in an attempt to damage our reputation and obtain an unfair competitive advantage in the marketplace against both us and other competitors. Our contract addresses the issues at hand and we are abiding by all the terms. We also continue to believe that we will prevail in our appeal and look forward to stating our case in upcoming oral arguments.”

Look to a future edition for continued coverage of the suit.

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  1. I guess this is why Steves is importing product from China now. Sad that I ordered product from Home depot that describes Steves and sons doors with no mention of made in china. To me, that is misrepresentation by Home depot and possibly Steves. I would not have bought the two doors had I known that they came from China. This country needs to separate trade dependance from China and depend more on the talents of the American worker!

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