Dealer Sues 3M for Business Losses, DefamationJanuary 31st, 2024 by Casey Flores
A South Carolina window film dealer has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Spartanburg, South Carolina, alleging the 3M Company sent a “false and defamatory” letter to a school’s director of public safety stating the security film the dealer installed was not a 3M product. The school district subsequently terminated its contract with the dealer.
“Mr. Tint of Richland County, South Carolina, is asking for damages over $75,000” for lost business and alleged damage to its reputation, according to the complaint filed December 6, 2023.
“Since 2018, and in its role as an authorized dealer of 3M products, Mr. Tint has purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars of 3M’s safety and security window film manufactured by 3M through its master distributor, Energy Products Distribution (EPD), for installation at various schools located in South Carolina,” the lawsuit says.
Mr. Tint alleges EPD’s sales representative pressured the company to subcontract the installation job to the spouse’s company, which Mr. Tint declined to do.
“As a result, EPD’s representative insisted on being informed of all new business that Mr. Tint would bid on so that other companies who were willing to retain the sales representative’s spouse could bid against Mr. Tint, which they often did successfully,” the suit alleges, saying this caused a rift in the relationship.
The suit alleges that EPD’s sales representative and representatives from 3M conspired together. It accuses them of contacting the school district to say that products were not used for the installation. The school district then sent three samples from the job to 3M.
“3M reviewed and analyzed the three samples provided by the District, two taken from Byrnes Freshman Academy and one from Reidville Elementary. 3M determined the product installed at both those locations is not a 3M product,” a letter 3M wrote to the school district states. “3M will take action with Mr. Tint directly regarding this matter. We also recommend you address this matter with Mr. Tint to resolve this matter as the seller of this product.”
As a result, Mr. Tint’s future contracts with that school district and others were canceled.
3M’s answer to the complaint is due to be filed with the court by Wednesday, February 14, 2024.
This is a developing story. WINDOW FILM magazine will provide updates as they are available.