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Trek, LeMond Case Could Stretch Into ’10

Published August 27, 2008

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (BRAIN)—If the lawsuit between LeMond Cycling and Trek Bicycle Corporation progresses to the point of a jury trial, it would likely take place in early 2010, according to documents filed this week with the U.S. District Court in Minnesota.

The civil case will be ready for trial on March 1, 2010 and would last 14 days, according to a scheduled order handed down by the judge on Tuesday. That’s if the case doesn’t settle out of court before then.

The two companies are locked in a legal dispute over contractual obligations.

Trek is seeking to end its licensing agreement with three time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, citing multiple breaches including improper distribution of LeMond bicycles, which has damaged both the LeMond and Trek brands and other Trek business interests.

Trek expects its damages for lost profits and other harm to exceed $6 million, according to court records.

LeMond claims Trek failed to satisfy its contractual obligations to exert its best efforts to promote the LeMond brand and seeks $3 million for lost international sales plus another $1 million for lost domestic sales.

Trek partnered with LeMond in 1995 to produce road bikes under LeMond’s name. The licensing agreement is scheduled to expire in 2010.

A pretrial conference in the case was held on Aug. 20. The next deadline for the parties is Oct. 1, the deadline for any pleading amendments or additional parties to be named in the suit.

In an odd twist, an inmate at a federal prison in Williamsburg, South Carolina filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit in July, alleging that he and other inmates produce bikes for LeMond under the Federal Prison Industry Unicor Program for 12 cents an hour, a violation of minimum wage laws. The inmate also claimed LeMond bicycle are shipped to Iranian troops for training purposes, violating the “Training with Enemy” Act.

The judge denied the motion.

—Nicole Formosa

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