ClarkDietrich Wins Product Disparagement Lawsuit

Jury finds the Certified Steel Stud Association liable for publishing false and misleading statements about ClarkDietrich’s ProSTUD® products

Dec. 14, 2015 - West Chester, Ohio – In a landmark case for the steel framing industry, a unanimous Ohio jury awarded ClarkDietrich $49.5 million in damages after determining that the Certified Steel Stud Association (CSSA), an industry trade group comprised of four of ClarkDietrich’s competitors, had conspired with others, including Marino\WARE, to publish false and misleading statements about ClarkDietrich’s ProSTUD® steel framing products.

The lawsuit was filed after the CSSA widely circulated a publication falsely stating that equivalent or EQ coatings are not recognized by the International Building Code (IBC). The Ohio jury determined that the 2013 publication was false and misleading and that the CSSA violated the Ohio Deceptive Trade Practices Act, engaged in acts of unfair competition, and defamed ClarkDietrich by issuing the 2013 publication. The jury also concluded that the CSSA entered into a civil conspiracy to publish the false statements.

“This lawsuit was never about money, this was about our reputation, which is our company’s most valuable asset,” said Bill Courtney, President and CEO of ClarkDietrich Building Systems. 

Unfortunately, through the CSSA’s false statements many architects, specification writers and contractors were misled as to ClarkDietrich’s ProSTUD® products with EQ coatings. ClarkDietrich is in the midst of investing in a long-term campaign to counter the misinformation in the marketplace regarding its ProSTUD® and ProSTUD® with DiamondPlus® steel framing products.

“Our brand is built around innovation and the jury’s decision serves as yet another endorsement for our game changing technology,” said Terry Westerman, Vice President, Marketing. “The real story here is ClarkDietrich Building Systems’ EQ coatings provide superior performance at the same price point as traditional framing products, while meeting all requirements of the building code.”

Evaluation services, such as Architectural Testing, Inc. (ATI) have recognized EQ coatings through its Code Compliance Research Report (CCRR) program. In fact, testing from accredited laboratories show that these high-performance EQ coatings offer superior corrosion resistance to standard steel coatings.

Find out more about ClarkDietrich's ProSTUD® with DiamondPlus®

About ClarkDietrich™ Building Systems
ClarkDietrich™ Building Systems is the leading manufacturer of a full line of drywall studs and accessories, structural studs and joists, metal lath and accessories, shaft wall studs and track, interior finishing products, and connectors and accessories for commercial and residential construction. Quality manufacturing, a full-line offering, national distribution, engineering services and responsive customer service position ClarkDietrich Building Systems as the largest manufacturer of light gauge steel framing in North America. Clarkwestern Dietrich Building Systems is a 75/25 joint venture with Marubeni-Itochu Steel America Inc. (MISA) and Worthington Industries, Inc. 

For more information, contact:
Jenny Hull, ClarkDietrich Building Systems
Twitter: @clarkdietrich