HARRISBURG – A California-based tungsten powder and products manufacturer has launched legal action in federal court accusing a direct competitor of using defamatory tactics to undermine the plaintiff’s business and harm its reputation.

Tungsten Heavy Powder and Parts, Inc. of San Diego, Calif. filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on Oct. 25 versus Global Tungsten and & Powders Corporation of Towanda and 10 John Doe defendants.

Per its lawsuit, THPP produces tungsten powder for use in the defense, aerospace, automotive and healthcare industries, and GTP serves as a direct competitor to it in these same professional endeavors.

“On information and belief, GTP and its management have coordinated with its sales representatives and a third-party lobbying firm to spread false statements about THPP to its customers and prospective customers. Among other false statements, GTP’s representatives have stated to customers that THPP falsely represents the origin of its products and violates federal laws in the importation of materials. As part of its campaign, GTP states that it intends to report THPP’s ‘violations’ of federal laws to the attention of law enforcement authorities,” the suit says.

GTP’s false statements include allegations that THPP is importing materials from China, but is falsely representing to customers that the materials are made in the United States, and that THPP is having its materials inspected in Mexico (in alleged violation of federal International Traffic in Arms Regulations), the suit says.

THPP has categorically denied these allegations, but claims GTP continues to spread them to its current and prospective customers and refuses to stop – with it allegedly doing so at a recent industry trade show on Oct. 10, through GTP’s Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Stacy Garrity.

“GTP’s false statements that THPP misrepresents the origin of products to customers and prospective customers, and violates federal laws have caused and are continuing to cause irreparable harm to THPP’s reputation, brand image and goodwill in the marketplace,” the suit states.

For counts of defamation, intentional interference with business relations, unfair competition and civil conspiracy, the plaintiff is seeking: Declarations that GTP is responsible for the above claims; injunctive relief from further acts connected to those same claims; damages in an amount proven at trial, related to THPP’s lost business, GTP’s “ill-gotten and unjustly-derived gains” and THPP’s expenditures to repair its relationship with its clients and reputation in the community; punitive damages in an amount to be proven at trial; pre- and post-judgment interest as permitted by law; costs and expenses incurred as a result of this suit, including expert witness fees; and for all other relief the court deems just and proper.

The plaintiff is represented by Mark D. Bradshaw of Stevens & Lee in Harrisburg, plus Paul Werner and Hannah Wigger of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, in Washington, D.C.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania case 4:17-cv-01948

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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