MUSCATINE, Iowa-Bandag Inc. expects to spend as much as $19 million in legal costs dealing with lawsuits it has filed involving Michelin Retread Technologies Inc. (MRTI) before the suits ever go to trial, according to Bandag's 10-K filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bandag, based in Muscatine, spent $6.9 million last year, and estimated legal expenses this year related to the suits at $10 million to $12 million. The company originally filed suit in September 1999 against MRTI, alleging the Michelin North America Inc. subsidiary was violating various antitrust statutes.
In turn, MRTI 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.