Lawsuit states maker of knock-off system wants to compete through the courts, not the marketplace
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICAGO (August 25, 2022) – Talon Wall Holdings LLC and their related entities, Chicago Heights Glass Inc. and Entekk Group LTD, longstanding national leaders in commercial high-rise façade construction, recently filed a $150 million defamation counterclaim against Reflection Window & Wall, LLC (RWW) and its director of curtain wall, Joel J. Phelps, who formerly worked for Talon Wall.
Talon Wall Holdings, LLC and the related entities had sued the defendants in 2021 for patent infringement, a case that has yet to be resolved. In the interim, RWW filed a lawsuit and published a press release that questioned the safety of Talon Wall®, a patented and revolutionary exterior aluminum and glass wall construction system for commercial buildings. Talon Wall Holdings LLC and the entities refute the RWW allegations and have filed the defamation claims in response.
The counterclaim states that RWW “baselessly alleges that the Talon Wall System is not fire safe,” and “in an effort to compete through the courts rather than the marketplace” alleges that the Talon Wall entities committed “fraud.” The counterclaim calls the RWW allegations a “far-reaching and illogical conspiracy” and alleges that, in fact, the “Talon Wall System utilizes the same Window Wall Fire Safe Structure” as all the window wall systems that RWW and other façade manufacturers have been installing for decades, and which RWW has asserted “are known for exceeding fire safety objectives.”
According to the counterclaim, “the Talon Wall System has been stringently evaluated by experts on fire safety through the process of approval for large projects throughout the country, and through third-party engineering judgments (including third-party fire testing).”
The counterclaim further states that the “Talon Wall System meets or exceeds project specifications with class-leading thermal, structural, air, acoustic, seismic and water performance. It does not require field-applied acoustical, fire-safing insulation, mullion wraps, or fire sealant at floor slab interfaces. It does not require layout or presetting of unit anchors at mounting locations to floor slabs.”
In fact, the Talon Wall System has been approved for use by multiple building departments for projects throughout North America, including in Chicago, New York, Denver, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, Nashville, New Jersey, and Virginia, among others. It has also been awarded five United States patents.
The counterclaim also alleges that RWW’s July 7, 2022, press release made numerous false statements about Chicago Heights Glass that constitute defamation, commercial disparagement, and slander. The claim further alleges that Phelps, now employed by RWW, breached his fiduciary duty to his former employer by disseminating confidential documents and that they “misquoted and misrepresented ASTM standards in an effort to scare monger and create suspicion when [they] knew that all test requirements were met and passed by the Talon Wall System.” The counterclaim attaches 26 certified engineering judgments and fire test reports for Talon Wall projects, which contradict RWW’s claims that Talon Wall is unsafe. A May 20, 2018, engineering judgment was actually directed to Phelps while he was employed by Entekk as its vice president. Phelps left Entekk in June 2020 to join RWW as its director of curtain wall. He helped RWW design a curtain wall system known as UWALL, which sparked the original patent infringement suit by Talon Wall.
The counterclaim seeks damages of $150 million and asks the court to direct RWW and Phelps to retract all defamatory communications and false statements, enjoin them from making further defamatory statements, and disgorge profits from all unlawful activity.
Chicago Heights Glass, Inc., a privately owned specialty subcontracting firm, and Entekk Group LTD, a privately owned specialty design and manufacturing firm, are both located in the southern Chicago suburbs and specialize in large commercial construction projects. More information on the company is available at http://www.chicagoheightsglass.com and www.entekk.com. The original patent infringement lawsuit and the recently filed counterclaim can be downloaded here and at www.LawsuitPressRelease.com.
Source: Talon Wall Holdings LLC