DuPont Must Pay $2.3 Million In Coating Lawsuit Settlement With Vermont Company

Fab-Tech says Dupont sold steel-duct coating in violation of an agreement between the two companies.

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A federal court jury ordered the chemical giant DuPont to pay a Colchester company $2.3 million to settle a dispute about a coating made to line steel ducts used in the semiconductor industry.

Fab-Tech Inc., of Colchester, maintained that DuPont sold the coating in violation of an agreement between the two companies. The two companies developed the coating in the early 1990s.

After a two-week trial, the jury awarded Fab-Tech $1.3 million in compensatory and another $1 million in punitive damages.

Fab-Tech maintained that in some areas, such as South Korea, its investment in a manufacturing facility became worthless because DuPont violated an agreement and sold the coating product there on its own.

DuPont is planning to appeal.

''Not only did the jury agree with us that we ought to get our money back for $1.3 million, but they awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish DuPont,'' said Fab-Tech lawyer Michael Burak.

DuPont issued a statement saying it ''beleves the verdict was not supported by the evidence, and that there was not sufficient evidence to support the punitive award. The company will appeal.''