Tervis Lawsuit Dismissed After Trinity Allegedly Lied About 'Material Facts'
In February, Trinity Graphics sued Tervis for allegedly conspiring to steal trade secrets by violating a non-disclosure agreement. Trinity accused Tervis of using a factory tour as an opportunity to get information on how Trinity is producing plastic inserts for personalized tumblers.
Then, in May, Trinity Graphics tried to disqualify Tervis' attorneys on the grounds of a conflict of interest. A lawyer at the law firm representing Tervis had previously represented Trinity in intellectual property matters.
But now, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the two companies have found a compromise, and mutually agreed to dismiss the lawsuit.
"Tervis is pleased that the meritless lawsuit brought by Trinity has been permanently dismissed by the federal court," Tervis said in a statement, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal. "Consistent with Tervis' position from the inception of the litigation nearly 10 months ago, Trinity has retracted all allegations of wrongdoing against Tervis. No money was paid to resolve this matter."
If this sounds like the two companies decided to be friends again and made a positive agreement, it's not. There's still plenty of bad blood here, based on statements. It seems like both parties just wanted to end this at a stalemate rather than continuing the legal action.
The statement went on to call the legal process "exhausting" and doubled down on the claim that the accusations from Trinity were "meritless."
Jonathan Pollard, the attorney representing Trinity in the lawsuit, filed a motion to withdraw from his position in October, claiming the two parties had "irreconcilable differences [that] have rendered the relationship beyond repair, and which pose compelling ethical concerns." He added that, should he continue in his position representing Trinity, it would "result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer."
Here's where it really gets interesting: Pollard then told the Tampa Bay Business Journal that his law firm withdrew from the case because "Trinity lied to us about certain very material facts."
"To be clear: I believe Trinity had legitimate claims for theft of trade secrets and fraud," he continued in an email to the Tampa Bay Business Journal. "But the real facts of the case were nothing like the facts Trinity originally represented to us. That's fraud. Plain and simple."
Trinity proved itself to be an unreliable narrator, so to speak. That's especially evident in its current standing with Pollard.
"By my calculations, Trinity and its owner Robert Smithson owe me more than $600,000," he said. "And I intend to get my money from them."
"Every step we took in litigation was focused on vindicating the Tervis name," Jennifer B. Compton, an attorney at the law firm representing Tervis, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal. "With the dismissal of the case with prejudice, the retraction of all allegations and wrongdoing and the payment of zero dollars, Tervis restored its good name."