WARD HILL, Mass. - September 20, 2018 - (Newswire.com)
After four days of evidentiary arbitration hearings, Arbitrator Judge Nancy Holtz issued an arbitration award in July 2018 in Spruce's favor on all claims tried before her. In a 34-page Award, the arbitrator found that Festa's "Dare to Compare" campaign targeting Spruce's RadonAway® brand radon fans violated federal false advertising law and the Massachusetts consumer protection statute. The award permanently enjoins Festa from making any advertisement or statement to the public that inaccurately depicts the color or quality of Spruce's radon mitigation fan products. Judge Holtz also ruled against Festa on its counterclaims in which it unsuccessfully challenged the truthfulness of certain Spruce advertisements.
Judge Holtz determined that Festa's conduct presented "exceptional circumstances" and ordered Festa to reimburse Spruce for nearly all of its attorneys' fees and court costs incurred over the three years of litigation. She wrote: "the [Festa] campaign has been a steady drumbeat of denigration, devoid of factual support" and "Festa engaged in an unremitting campaign in an intentional and cynical effort to link the color shifting of the Spruce fans with fail rate and quality."
In its countersuit, Festa challenged the validity and accuracy of RadonAway®'s use of the UL-507 certification mark on certain of its fans. In rejecting this claim, Judge Holtz ruled that "All of the credible evidence supports that yes, the fans did then and do now, comply with UL 507," and "The actual credible evidence is that Spruce is a company of longstanding good reputation, created by someone who has the education, expertise and experience to be able to ensure, directly or through trusted employees, that all Spruce fans comply with UL 507."
When asked about the lawsuit, David Hill, Executive Vice President of Spruce Environmental Technologies, Inc., responded:
"We welcome fair and honest competition, but here we felt that Festa crossed the line with its misleading 'Dare to Compare' campaign. It went beyond a 'Coke vs Pepsi' type of product comparison and instead portrayed our products and methods in a false and misleading way. We're pleased with the result of this case and gratified to know that the judicial system worked to hold Festa to the high standard of honesty and integrity that all members of the radon industry share. We take radon gas seriously as the second leading cause of lung cancer and encourage all homeowners to test their homes. If their homes need mitigation, they can find qualified radon professionals in their area at radonaway.com/findpro."
To read the Arbitration Award in its entirety, go to:
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Original Source: RadonAway® Radon Fan Manufacturer Wins False Advertising Lawsuit Against Competitor