Viracon Moves Forward with Lawsuit to Recover More Than $1 Million for IGUs

Viracon Inc. is moving forward with a lawsuit aimed at collecting the more than $1 million dollars the company says it is owed for the insulating glass units (IGUs) it specifically manufactured and delivered to two New York companies.

In papers filed jointly with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, attorneys for Viracon, of Owatonna, Minn., and the two Valhalla, N.Y.-based defendants, J&L Curtain Wall LLC and Cappelli Enterprises Inc. (CEI), say they were unable to reach a settlement during a 45-day stay period granted by Judge Cathy Seibel in late October.

Viracon, which wants a jury trial to resolve the matter, is seeking “direct, actual and compensatory damages” for “an amount greater than $1,315,000 plus pre-verdict interest” for IGUs delivered to J&L on behalf of CEI without payment, according to documents filed in March 2013 by James S. Dobis, the company’s New York-based attorney.

Viracon contends that it manufactured and delivered the IGUs ordered by J&L “on behalf of itself and/or Cappelli Enterprises” in 2009, according to court documents. J&L Curtain Wall and CEI concedes that “Viracon delivered certain IGUs to J&L,” but denies that J&L was acting on its behalf. If true, responsibility for the bill would fall exclusively on J&L, which has apparently since gone out of business.

Neither Dobis nor Patrick M. Reilly, the White Plains, N.Y.-based attorney representing both defendants, could be reached for comment on Friday morning.

Viracon says it acted “in good faith” when it manufactured and/or delivered the IGUs to CEI “through its agent, J&L,” according to court records. Viracon accuses CEI of “illegally, unlawfully and/or unfairly benefited from the manufacture and/or receipt of the IGUs by accepting the IGUs and then failing to make the necessary payments.”

The plaintiff says the IGUs that CEI received were valued at more than $963,800, while the others Viracon specifically manufactured had a collective value of more than $97,000, according to court records.

Viracon is asking for “fair and reasonable value” of its goods CEI received, as well as damages, storage fees and interest accrued.

“Cappelli Enterprises will be unjustly enriched if it is allowed to keep, without compensating Viracon, the benefit of the IGUs manufactured by Viracon,” Dobis wrote in the suit’s original complaint.

Viracon alleges that J&L is now “insolvent and/or no longer actively engaged in business,” according to court papers. Reilly wouldn’t even concede that in a response for his client, calling the allegations “conclusions of law by plaintiff to which no response is required.”

A woman who answered the phone at J&L’s headquarters on Friday morning confirmed that the company was no longer in business.

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