Fastenal being sued ‘for millions'

2010-05-13T00:00:00Z Fastenal being sued ‘for millions'By Nolan Rosenkrans nolan.rosenkrans@lee.net Winona Daily News

A California company has sued Fastenal, seeking millions of dollars in punitive damages.

B&B Hardware Inc. of Santa Barbara accuses Fastenal of violating an exclusivity contract that made B&B the Winona company's exclusive supplier for a type of self-sealing fastener.

The lawsuit, filed last week in a U.S. District Court in Arkansas, claims Fastenal broke that agreement by marketing and selling competing products at a lower cost to increase profits.

"We contend Fastenal agreed to be B&B's exclusive partner in marketing self-sealing fasteners and then later ignored the partnership agreement," B&B attorney Barry Snyder said in a written statement.

A Fastenal spokeswoman did not return a request for comment Wednesday.

According to the lawsuit, the patented fastener allows screws, rivets and other fasteners to form fluid- and gas-tight seals. B&B says the product was used in the Mars Rover and has nautical and medical applications.

A contract included with the lawsuit and signed by a Fastenal purchasing manager states Fastenal will not market or sell any similar products or products that perform substantially the same function as the B&B fastener.

But B&B claims Fastenal sold other companies' self-sealing fasteners, marketed B&B's primary competitor on its website as a "Diamond Marketing Partner," and that Fastenal either itself or with other companies is using B&B "technology, trade secrets and other proprietary information" to manufacture and sell a competing product.

The lawsuit requests compensatory damages "in the millions of dollars," as well as unspecified punitive damages.

Copyright 2015 Winona Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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