Appeals court favors Lively in FPA suit
WASHINGTON - An appeals court has ruled in favor of a plaintiff in a decade-long sexual harassment lawsuit pitting her against the Flexible Packaging Association.
The Court of Appeal for Washington on Aug. 21 overturned a previous decision by a panel of appeals judges in a case involving former FPA employee Gaye Lively. Lively is seeking close to $1 million in liability and punitive damages for what she said was a hostile work environment toward women that ultimately led to her firing.
The case first was filed in 1993. Lively was awarded damages by a jury before the decision was appealed.
In the first appeal, a three-judge panel ruled in January 2001 that Lively had filed her case after the statute of limitations had expired and that it should be thrown out.
In the latest ruling, however, the full nine-member Appeals Court ruled that Lively had made her suit in a timely manner, and that the jury's original liability damages of more than $400,000 should stand.
The court still needs to consider punitive damages in the case, the verdict stated.
Former FPA President Glenn Braswell was named as a defendant in the case. Braswell, who left FPA in 1999, died June 25 in a motorcycle accident near his Maryland home.
LDM consolidating Texas operations
AUBURN HILLS, MICH. - LDM Technologies Inc. is consolidating its manufacturing operations in the Texas Rio Grande Valley in a move that will allow employees to retain their jobs.
The company opted not to renew a lease on a plant in Harlingen, Texas, said Nanette Fitch, director of the Harlingen Chamber of Commerce's Economic Development Department. The work and jobs will transfer to the auto supplier's facility in McAllen, Texas, about 20 miles west of Harlingen.
The company is offering incentives to allow the staff of about 100 to commute to their jobs at the McAllen site, she said.
Auburn Hills-based LDM injection molds seat-belt components at both plants. Company officials would not comment on the consolidation.
ArvinMeritor extends Dana buyout offer
TROY, MICH. - ArvinMeritor Inc. has extended its buyout offer for Dana Corp. to Oct. 2 in a move indicating that the battle for control of the automotive supplier probably will not be solved quickly.
ArvinMeritor offered $15 per share for Dana in July. That offer was to end Aug. 28, but the Troy-based company announced it will continue its takeover attempt. Toledo, Ohio-based Dana consistently has rejected the offer, calling it financially inadequate and high-risk.
``Nothing has changed in this regard,'' Dana Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joe Magliochetti said Aug. 28.
Both companies are more well-known for their metal systems, but both use plastics - Dana through its engine and fluid management group and ArvinMeritor in roof and door modules.
The bid has been bitter, with both companies filing lawsuits seeking to block or force open the process, and Dana pushing for federal moves against it on antitrust grounds.
Prime Plastic rebuts acquisition claim
WINFIELD, KAN. - A Kansas injection molder maintains it is not being acquired by one of its customers.
Saad Taha of Prime Plastic Containers Inc. said in an Aug. 26 news release that the Winfield-based caps maker will remain independent, despite an Aug. 12 announcement by American Water Star Inc. that it had signed a letter of intent to buy the business.
``PPCI was not informed, nor has it agreed to such an announcement and/or intent or acquisition,'' Taha said.
Officials with American Water Star, a publicly traded Las Vegas-based producer of bottled waters, said the company does have two signed letters of intent and that due diligence is continuing, although it is not certain whether it will complete a deal.