Talon Wall Holdings LLC and its related entities, Chicago Heights Glass Inc. (CHG) and Entekk Group LTD, along with Kurt Levan, president of CHG and Entekk, have filed a $150 million defamation counterclaim against Reflection Window & Wall LLC (RWW) and its chief operating officer and former CHG employee, Joel J. Phelps.
The counterclaim follows a July 2022 lawsuit by RWW against Talon Wall and its related entities. The lawsuit claims that Talon Wall and its related entities engaged in a pattern of deceptive and reckless practices by “making materially false and misleading commercial representations to win lucrative construction contracts, including touting their own Talon Wall product as meeting applicable fire-safe standards with the knowledge that such representations are untrue, likely to mislead, deceive and/or result in material harm.”
The July 2022 lawsuit followed a 2021 federal patent infringement claim against RWW, which was filed by CHG, Talon Wall and Entekk Group. That case has yet to be resolved.
Along with the July 2022 lawsuit, RWW released a press release on July 7, 2022, publicly questioning the safety of the Talon Wall System, which is a hybrid curtainwall system.
According to the July 2022 court documents filed by RWW, the Talon Wall System’s continuous shelf inhibits the ability to ensure proper installation of fire-resistance-rated floor or floor/ceiling assemblies, noting that this lack of assurance makes it impossible to see if any voids are present. The court documents state that this fact “critically undermines the reliability of any representation as to the system’s effectiveness in preventing the interior spread of fire and hot gasses as required by International Building Code, § 715.4 and ASTM E 2307.”
Talon Wall and its related entities claim in the countersuit that RWW’s allegation are false. The counterclaim argues that RWW’s Window Wall Systems and the Talon Wall System utilize the same window wall fire safe structure.
“Thus, if the Talon Wall System is not fire safe, the RWW Window Wall Systems fare no better,” the counterclaim states.
The counterclaim also argues that RWW’s press release misrepresented ASTM standards in an effort to scare monger and create suspicion when the counter defendants knew that all test requirements were met and passed by the Talon Wall System.
According to court documents, Talon Wall and its related entities believe that the purpose of RWW’s press release was to maliciously harm their businesses and attempt to secure additional business for RWW’s own curtainwall and window wall products.
“As a result of the publication of the false statements in the press release, the CHG counter-plaintiffs have suffered and will continue to suffer damage to their reputation and businesses, in an amount no less than $150,000,000,” the counterclaim states.
Talon Wall and its related entities seek punitive damages, a directive to recall and retract all defamatory publications and the issuance of a press release correcting and retracting false statements. Furthermore, the counterclaim seeks an accounting of RWW’s profits from foregoing misconduct, requiring disgorgement of profits resulting from all lawful activity and holding counter defendants jointly and severally liable.