A jury has sided with a West Des Moines company in its trade secret skirmish with a giant in the home appliance industry, awarding Demco, Incorporated one million dollars in damages. Demco sued Frigidaire, arguing the appliance maker breached a five-year contract on a part Demco supplied to Frigidaire. Scott Long, Demco’s lawyer, says the part at the center of the legal dispute is a “concrete counterweight.” Long says the part fits around the tub of a front-loading washer and provides weight and stability to the machine so it doesn’t shake during the spin cycle. Long says the two companies worked together to redesign the shell into which the concrete is poured, and Demco alleged Frigidaire gave the design to one of its competitors. The trial lasted six days. Long says it was a “relatively complicated commercial case” with a lot of witnesses and a lot of exhibits. Long says Demco and Frigidaire’s business relationship ended when the lawsuit was filed. Washing machines equipped with the part the two companies feuded over are made at a plant in Webster City.
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