Dodge files responses in BDR case: Dodge has filed its responses to Bill Davis Racing's motions that ask a federal judge to reconsider a $6.5 million jury verdict levied in February against the race team. Dodge asks the judge not to change the verdict or grant BDR a new trial in the case, where the jury found the team guilty of giving confidential Dodge information to Toyota while building Toyota products for the Craftsman Truck Series. In May 2003, Dodge terminated its six-year, $18.425-million contract with BDR signed in 2000 and filed suit against the race team. Dodge also indicates that it will ask BDR for attorneys' fees for the trial, which could raise the total amount due to the manufacturer. BDR contends the verdict should be overturned for what it terms improper jury instructions and issues dealing with the way Dodge compiled its amount of damages. Dodge says the jury instructions were valid and that it compiled the amount of damages fairly. "BDR's issues in its motion for new trial are frivolous, improper and in bad faith," the Dodge brief states. Judge George Caram Steeh has not indicated when he would rule on the motions. If BDR loses, the team has said it would take the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals.(SceneDaily.com)(3-28-2006)
Davis files motions to change Dodge verdict: Bill Davis Racing has filed three motions in U.S. District Court in Michigan in response to a verdict of $6.5 million in damages it has been ordered to pay DaimlerChrysler. A jury awarded the damages to Dodge on Feb. 9 after a four-week trial in Detroit. The jury found that BDR gave confidential Dodge information to Toyota and also violated its Cup agreement with Dodge when it signed a contract with General Motors to race in the Busch Series and up to seven Cup events. BDR has filed three motions: one requesting a new trial, another to request a reduction in damages and another for a judgment that it did not violate its Dodge agreement by signing the GM contract. Among the arguments are improper jury instructions and issues dealing with the way Dodge compiled its amount of damages. If Judge George Caram Steeh upholds the verdict, BDR has announced plans to appeal.
Dodge terminated its contract with BDR in May 2003 after it discovered BDR's work with Toyota's truck program. The six-year, $18.425-million contract was scheduled to end in 2005. BDR's work on the truck was ruled legal by Steeh, but he left it up to the jury to decide whether BDR gave confidential Dodge information to Toyota.(SceneDaily.com)(3-2-2006)
Toyota denies Dodges claim: A Toyota executive denied the company was looking for confidential Dodge information and also said the company would not pay for Bill Davis Racing's defense in recent litigation with Dodge. DaimlerChrysler won a $6.5 million jury award in a breach of contract lawsuit Feb. 9 in U.S. District Court in Michigan. The jury decided that BDR had given confidential Dodge information to Toyota during the time BDR was developing a truck for Toyota. "If we were going to copy people's stuff, it wouldn't be people running at the back, let me put it that way," Toyota Racing Development Senior Vice President/General Manager Lee White said in a jab at Dodge. Dodge terminated its Cup contract with BDR in May 2003 after discovering BDR was building Toyota trucks and promptly filed suit. BDR filed a counterclaim and asked for more than $9 million in the case, which went to trial in mid-January. The bill could climb toward $9 million if attorney's fees and other penalties are awarded to DaimlerChrysler, according to Robert Thackston, who represented Dodge in the suit. White and Davis continue plans to debut two Toyota Nextel Cup teams in 2007. "There is no moving back from the deal that we have. I'm sure he is going to appeal it or whatever he can do," White said. "That's his program and it's really nothing to do with us. He's never asked [for us to pay it]."(NASCAR Scene)(2-22-2006)
Davis loses Dodge lawsuit UPDATE 2: hearing the breach of contract lawsuit between DaimlerChrysler and Bill Davis Racing has been won by DaimlerChrysler/Dodge.(2-9-2006) UPDATE: DaimlerChrysler won a $6.5 million judgment Thursday against Bill Davis Racing in a breach of contract dispute in U.S. District Court in Detroit. A 7-member jury deliberated 4 hours after a 17-day trial before awarding the judgment to the Auburn Hills carmaker, which alleged that the North Carolina-based race team violated a six-year contract in 2003 by passing confidential Dodge Motorsports technology, parts and information to Toyota. The automaker said Bill Davis Racing helped Toyota develop a prototype Tundra racing truck for NASCAR.s Craftsman Truck series at the same time Davis was under contract to prepare DaimlerChrysler stock cars for the Winston Cup Series, now the Nextel Cup Series. After terminating its contract and suing Davis in federal court, DaimlerChrysler said it learned that Davis had signed a contract in February 2003 to provide a car to General Motors for the Winston Cup Series. DaimlerChrysler said both competitors used the information to develop engines for the Craftsman, Nextel Cup and Busch racing series. Bill Davis Racing denied the charges, countersued and sought $8.5 million to $9.8 million from DaimlerChrysler for breach of contract. The jury gave DaimlerChrysler what it asked for, $6.5 million. U.S. District Judge George Steeh gave Bill Davis Racing three weeks to file post-trial legal briefs, which could include a request to set aside the verdict. The company.s lawyer declined to comment on the verdict.(Detroit Free Press)(2-9-2006) UPDATE 2: Bill Davis Racing is disappointed with the decision of a federal court jury in Detroit that Bill Davis Racing breached its
Motorsports Agreement with DaimlerChrysler’s Dodge division to race vehicles in NASCAR’s Cup Series. Bill Davis, President of Bill Davis Racing, stated, “We disagree with the jury verdict. We fully intend to exercise the opportunity extended by US District Court Judge George Steeh and ask the Court to set aside this verdict. If necessary, we intend to appeal the verdict to the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Our racing sponsors and business partners have remained supportive during the legal process and our full effort remains focused on bringing success to their NASCAR programs.” Bill Davis Racing will not have any comment on this issue as the appeal process moves forward.(BDR)(2-1-2006)
Dodge and Bill Davis Racing lock horns in lawsuit: A multimillion-dollar breach of contract lawsuit between DaimlerChrysler and Bill Davis Racing is expected to get under way today in U.S. District Court in Detroit. DaimlerChrysler says Bill Davis Racing, based in North Carolina, violated the terms of a six-year contract in 2003 by passing confidential information to Toyota. The suit says Davis was helping the Japanese automaker develop a prototype Tundra truck for NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series. At the time, Davis was under contract to prepare DaimlerChrysler vehicles for the NASCAR Winston Cup series, now the Nextel Cup series. After terminating the contract and suing Davis, DaimlerChrysler says it learned that Davis had signed a contract in February 2003 to provide a car to General Motors for the Winston Cup series. DaimerChrysler is seeking $6.5 million in damages and an injunction to prevent Davis from divulging confidential automotive data acquired from DaimlerChrysler. Davis has denied the charges, countersued and is seeking $8.5 million to $9.8 million from DaimlerChrysler for breach of contract. Davis intends to run two Dodges in the Nextel Cup series this year with drivers Michael Waltrip and Dave Blaney. In the truck series, he will run three Toyota Tundras with drivers Johnny Benson, Mike Skinner and Bill Lester. U.S. District Judge George Steeh will preside over the trial, which is expected to last 2-3 weeks.(Detroit Free Press)(1-18-2006)
Dodge-Davis Lawsuit: The Bill Davis-Dodge lawsuit is to go to jury trial in federal court in Michigan next week and could last two weeks. The long-running legal battle is over Dodge's decision two years ago to withdraw financial sponsorship of Davis' NASCAR team because of his racing ties with Toyota. Davis has Toyota truck teams and is expected to have one of Toyota's lead teams when Toyota steps up to the Nextel Cup tour in 2007.(Winston Salem Journal)(1-12-2006)
Davis beats Dodge again: Bill Davis Racing has won another round in court against Dodge, which sued BDR over its building of Toyota Trucks and giving info to them. A judge rejected Dodge's request that the judge reconsider his July ruling that BDR didn't violate terms of their agreement by building trucks in 2003. The only matter to be disputed is if BDR gave confidential information to Toyota and is scheduled to go to trial in Decemebr at Michigan.(NASCAR Scene Magazine)(10-22-2005)
Davis wins round one against Dodge: A U.S. District Court judge granted summary judgment in favor of Bill Davis Racing after determining BDR did not violate terms of an agreement with Daimler-Chrysler by working with Toyota Racing Development USA in 2002 and early 2003. Daimler-Chrysler terminated its Dodge support of BDR in 2003 after learning of its involvement with TRD, which the court said was permitted under the contract. The case now goes to trial on Daimler-Chrysler's contention that BDR conveyed confidential tech information to TRD and BDR's suit for substantial damages because of wrongful termination. No trial date has been set. "We are confident the remaining issues in the case will ultimately be resolved favorably to the interests of BDR," owner Bill Davis said in a statement.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-17-2005)
Bill Davis Racing/Dodge Lawsuits: A decision in the DaimlerChrylser/Bill Davis Racing legal battle, now almost two years old, could be on the horizon. Federal district court judge George Steeth is currently scheduled May 9 to hear a motion by DaimlerChrylser for partial summary judgment and a motion by BDR for summary judgment. The case stems from DaimlerChrysler dropping its factory support of BDR's Dodge team in the Cup series. Chrysler sued BDR in Michigan state court May 2003, alleging breach of contract for helping Toyota with development of its NASCAR truck program. After getting the case moved to federal court, BDR counter sued, claiming DC had no basis for unilaterally voiding the contract, which was to have run through the 2006 season according to court documents. Chrysler alleges that BDR helping Toyota, which is not racing in the Cup series, violated a contract clause prohibiting teams from aiding a Dodge racing rival because the clause extends to any NASCAR series.
In briefs filed for the upcoming hearing, DC alleges that BDR helped launch Toyota's truck development program in High Point in April 2002 and that employees from BDR's Dodge teams were active in the development work, including a BDR engineer garbed in a Toyota shirt at wind tunnel and track tests. DC also alleges that BDR supplied Toyota with Cup engine information which DC claims was to have been for a possible try at Cup racing in 2005.
In the filings, BDR claims that the non-compete clause applies only to the open promotion of a Dodge rival, and that BDR employees in Toyota shirts at development tests did not violate the clause because they would not be recognized as being affiliated with a Dodge team by the general public. DC argues that BDR violated the promotion clause by building show trucks for display at an auto show and Daytona International Speedway in February 2003 in conjunction for Toyotas announcement that it was entering the truck series in 2004.
BDR alleges building the show trucks was not a violation because there was no general perception that a Dodge affiliated team built the truck. BDR also argues that its fielding Toyotas in the truck series should be disregarded because that came after its Dodge support was withdrawn.(High Point Enterprise)(4-24-2005)
Davis-Dodge Lawsuit pushed back to June: The start date for the trial in the Daimler-Chrysler/Bill Davis Racing lawsuit has been postponed once again. The trial, which was set to begin May 3, will now start June 21 at 9 a.m. in federal district court in Detroit. Judge George Steeh granted the delay Friday after attorneys for both sides requested it. The deadline for filing depositions is now Feb. 1. Final pre-trial orders are to be filed by June 6 with the final pre-trial conference slated June 13. The new trial date is 25 months after Daimler-Chrysler sued BDR in Michigan district court in May 2003. The suit alleges BDR breached its contract for Dodge support for its Cup team for helping Toyota with development work as it prepared for entry in the NASCAR truck series this year. Daimler-Chrysler terminated its Dodge support of BDR's Cup team and is requesting return of over $1 million in factory support for the balance of 2003. BDR succeeded in moving the trial to federal court in June 2003 and later that month counter-sued, alleging Daimler-Chrysler had no basis to terminate the contract because Toyota is not a rival of Dodge in the Cup series. Toyota is a rival of Dodge in the truck series. The trial was first scheduled for August 17 of this year, originally delayed to Dec. 20 and then moved to May 3 of 2005.(High Point Enterprise)(12-21-2004)
Bill Davis Racing Responds To Dodge's Decision To Terminate Agreement: Bill Davis [#22 CAT and #23 Stacker 2 Dodges] Racing [BDR] is surprised by the decision of Daimler Chrysler's notification to terminate their agreement with Bill Davis Racing and to file suit alleging that Bill Davis Racing has breached its agreement with Daimler Chrysler. Bill Davis Racing firmly believes that it has not breached the Daimler Chrysler agreement and that there is no justifiable reason for Daimler Chrysler asserting a claim that it has breached such an agreement. Bill Davis racing is confident that it will prevail in the litigation and that the court will agree that is has not breached its agreement with Daimler Chrysler. Bill Davis Racing will continue racing the Dodge Intrepid in NASCAR's Winston Cup Series.(BDR PR)(6-4-2003)
Dodge Sues Davis: A lawsuit filed by Dodge's parent company, DaimlerChrysler, alleges that Davis' team breached its contract by building and testing a prototype Toyota vehicle for NASCAR's Craftsman Truck series. Toyota has announced plans to enter the truck series next season — leading to speculation that the Japanese automobile industry giant eventually will field cars in the marquee-level Winston Cup series. NASCAR rules require teams to race approved "American-made" cars, but Toyota manufactures several models at U.S. plants. In the lawsuit, DaimlerChrysler alleges that at least one member of Davis' team represented Toyota at a NASCAR wind tunnel test in Marrietta, GA, on April 30. The suit says NASCAR officials performed aerodynamic tests on a Toyota prototype that bore decals from Davis' team and was powered by a Dodge engine. The suit says this violates a clause in Davis' contract with DaimlerChrysler that requires Davis and his team to "represent, endorse or otherwise promote" Dodge products. The suit, filed in a Michigan state circuit court on May 23, does not ask for a specific dollar amount in damages. But as a reward for racing Dodges, DaimlerChrysler pays its designated "factory" teams an annual sum believed to be in the low seven-figure range. The suit estimates that Davis' team has spent only 50-60% of this year's money, and asks for the remainder to be repaid. The suit also says DaimlerChrysler "fears that (Davis' team) has or will share DaimlerChrysler's confidential information with Toyota, in violation of the agreement," and wants the courts to force Davis' team to keep secret any confidential information they have obtained from Dodge. DaimlerChrysler officials declined comment Monday. Officials from Toyota and Davis' team did not return messages seeking comment. NASCAR vice president of corporate communications Jim Hunter could not say for certain whether officials tested a Toyota prototype in the presence of Davis team members on April 30, but he said wind tunnel testing is common in NASCAR's approval process for new vehicles.(USA Today)(6-3-2003)