MUSCATINE, Iowa (April 9, 2001) — Bandag Inc. expects to spend as much as $19 million in legal costs dealing with lawsuits involving Michelin Retread Technologies Inc. before the suits ever go to trial, according to Bandag´s 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bandag spent $6.9 million in 2000, and estimated legal expenses this year related to the suits at $10 million to $12 million. The Muscatine-based supplier of retreading equipment and supplies originally filed suit in September 1999 against MRTI, alleging the Michelin North America Inc. subsidiary was violating various antitrust statutes.
MRTI in kind countersued, and recently added Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. as a co-defendant, claiming Bandag and Bridgestone/Firestone conspired to keep MRTI from competing fairly for business among commercial tire dealers and retreaders. The first suit is scheduled to go to trial in January 2002.