Broadsword ordered to pay $726,528.16 to Michael H Blank
Saint Louis – On November 6th, a judgment was entered in the lawsuit originally filed on September 10th, 2014 by Michael H Blank in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (Case No. 4:14-CV-1550) against his former employer the Broadsword Group, LLC and its wholly owned company at that time Sharps Rifle Company, Inc. which also does business as SRC Arms.
Mr. Blank sought title to all of the intellectual property that he claims to have brought to Broadsword Group, LLC, plus compensation for his alleged ownership in the company. The IP section of the case was settled amicably on terms that are confidential on April 8, 2015. Mr. Blank continued the suit against Broadsword Group, LLC for the monetary amount stemming from an alleged ownership stake in the company. During this same timeframe Sharps Rifle Company, Inc. was dropped as a named defendant in the suit due to its co-Defendant Broadsword Group's 100% ownership in the company.
The Judgment entered by the court on November 6, 2017 states, "…that plaintiff Michael Henry Blank have and recover from defendant Broadsword Group, LLC, on his Fourth Amended Complaint Counts 3, 5, and 7 claims the sum of $618,859.16 in compensatory damages; plus on his Count 4 claim the additional sum of $7,669.00 in compensatory damages; plus $100,000 in punitive damages; thus, a total recovery amount in the sum of $726,528.16…"
Perhaps one of the most significant conclusions reached by the court was with regard to Count 7: Fraud. The court stated that, in reference to, Mr. Blank's claim that he had helped Broadsword acquire Sharps, brought all of his IP to Broadsword, and gave up any claims of ownership in Sharps that he had previous that "Plaintiff reasonably believed Johnston (CEO of both Broadsword and Sharps Rifle Company, Inc.) and Lesser's (President of Sharps Rifle Company, Inc.) representations to be true, and, relying on these representations, he suffered damages."
Mr. Blank was quoted as saying, "It was a long and difficult road to reach this point, but this judgment that both compensates me financial for damages, and even more importantly sets the record straight on what went on in Broadsword, and makes it clear that I am in the right which makes it all worth it." Blank further adds that, "This whole affair is so unfortunate. We had the right products, with a great name, in the hottest market in decades. The amount I received is a paltry sum compared to what could have been made had the business just been run in good faith..." making a veiled reference to Count 5: Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing that court also found that Mr. Blank had "…alleged facts sufficient to establish…that defendant acted in bad faith."
The Broadsword Group's website (www.broadswordgroup.com/about_us.html
) still lists the Sharps Rifle Company, Inc as one of its companies as of the date of this press release, as well as A-Square, SRC Arms, H.H. Heiser and Merwin Hulbert., although it should be noted that the main web address for broadsword (www.broadswordgroup.com
) links immediately to Sharps Rifle Company, Inc.'s current website (www.srcarms.com
). Mr. Blank the credited designer of the 25-45 Sharps, who has been doing contract work for several companies in the industry during the duration of this case through his own company US Strategic, LLC dba Gen-X Arms & Ammunition (www.GXAA.com
) concluded with the comment that, "Now that this case is finally over and a favorable conclusion has been reach, I hope it will remove any concerns about me out there stemming from this legal action or the short lived charges Broadsword brought against me in Wyoming, that I can look forward to a better future free from these dark clouds."
Contact: Michael H Blank