Los Angeles Business Journal

JM Eagle Threatens Suit Against Lawyers in Whistleblower Case

By Kay Chinn Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Los Angeles plastic pipe maker JM Eagle Manufacturing Co. has accused lawyers in a successful whistleblower case against it of making false and defamatory statements after a jury returned a verdict against the company and its former parent company, Formosa Plastics Corp. USA.

A federal jury last month unanimously agreed month that JM Eagle and Formosa had sold substandard plastic pipe to 45 government entities. Formosa agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle the allegations, but JM Eagle said it will appeal the verdict.

It now claims that a post-trial statement released by the attorney for the whistleblower, Eric Havian of Phillips & Cohen, was false and said it could cost the company millions of dollars.

The plaintiff’s legal team said in the statement that JM Eagle knowingly manufactured and sold the substandard pipe and it owed billions of dollars to its customers. The company said the ruling was limited, finding it had only failed to comply with industry standards, not that it delivered defective pipe to customers on purpose.

The company has hired celebrity attorney Michael Glassman, to represent it in a potential defamation lawsuit against the Havian and Phillips & Cohen.

Damages owed by JM Eagle will be determined in the second phase of the trial.