Lee Valley Tools v. Industrial Blade Company
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Magistrate Judge Marian Payson
Industrial Blade Co. (IBC) supplied blades for hand planes made by Lee Valley Tools and its affiliates (collectively Veritas). Their relationship ended in 2009 after Veritas decided to make blades in house. Veritas alleged that advertisements for IBC's blades wrongly claimed credit for awards earned by Veritas's planes. IBC countered that by making blades in house, Veritas's breached its agreement that IBC would be the sole supplier of blades. The court denied IBC's motion to preclude Veritas from relying on untimely produced financial documents reflecting sales volume, revenues and profits for hand planes incorporating Veritas's in-house blades. Veritas did not show its failure to produce the documents, or underlying data, justified. Nor did it show untimely disclosure harmless. However, discussing the considerations in Turley v. ISG Lackawanna, the court deemed preclusion overly harsh. Nothing suggested that Veritas's conduct involved bad faith, and IBC did little to mitigate prejudice from Veritas's production failures. Further, Veritas's discovery failures justified imposition of fee shifting for supplemental discovery and expert reports, as well as re-opening of discovery to permit IBC to conduct discovery as to the untimely disclosures.