DES MOINES, Iowa (May 15, 2002) — The court battle over supremacy in the North American retreading market began May 13 in Des Moines as lawyers for Bandag Inc., Michelin North America Inc. and Bridgestone/Firestone squared off in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.
The trial is expected to last eight weeks. Bandag is seeking at least $8.75 million in damages against Michelin plus punitive damages, according to the Muscatine, Iowa-based retread supplier's 10-K report. Michelin, meanwhile, is seeking $146.1 million in damages against Bandag and Bridgestone/Firestone plus treble damages, the report stated. Both Bandag and Michelin are seeking injunctive relief.
The case began in 1999 when Bandag filed a lawsuit against Michelin alleging that it tried to eliminate Bandag as a competitor in the retreading market. Michelin is countersuing, claiming Bandag holds a monopoly on the retreading industry, and also named BFS in its suit, alleging BFS and Bandag conspired to prevent retreaders from adopting Michelin's retreading system by offering financial incentives.