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Goss Subpoenas Press Purchasers

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Goss Subpoenas Press Purchasers

Article excerpt

Anti-dumping suit in discovery as WTO takes aim at U.S. law

Goss Graphic Systems' lawsuit against German and Japanese competitors entered the discovery phase late last month, with as many as 19 newspapers receiving subpoenas for documents related to their printing press purchases. Meanwhile, a World Trade Organization (WTO) arbitrator's ruling announced last week may have a bearing on the ultimate disposition of the case.

In a case earlier resolved administratively in its favor, Goss one year ago filed suit in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- site of its assembly plant -- under the 1916 Anti-dumping Act, blaming defendants MAN Roland, Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho (TKS), and their U.S. affiliates for its 1999 bankruptcy. Rarely and never successfully invoked, the law allows recovery of damages in civil court (E&P, May 22, p. 26).

Goss alleges that despite the success of its 1995 petitions for dumping and injury determinations by the U.S. Commerce Department and International Trade Commission, and subsequent imposition of duties, the defendants continued to dump foreign-made equipment in the United States and to injure Goss' business. Goss Marketing Vice President Barbara L. Gora said no court date has been set and that the company will not comment on litigation.

The case was delayed last spring when Goss moved to disqualify KBA counsel from the firm Kirkland & Ellis on the grounds that its lawyers' work for Goss on other matters represented a conflict of interest. "We had to drop Kirkland representation," said KBA North America President Scott Smith, adding that the case seemed to be proceeding slowly, with discovery just starting, a year after the suit was filed.

But now, "calls from newspapers concerned about subpoenas," said MAN Vice President Vince Lapinski, "shows that it's going pretty fast, faster than expected."

"We have heard that they're going to be here [on March 1], and they're going to subpoena ... all records that led up to the decision to purchase a particular press," said Jerry LaCamp, production manager at The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore., among Mitsubishi's first U.S. newspaper customers. "We supplied most of this ... once before." But last Thursday "no one came in," LaCamp said. "So I'm going to make some copies of a few things" for Goss' attorney, who sought to "exchange some documents."

Mary Ann Werner, vice president and counsel at The Washington Post, confirmed receiving a subpoena Feb. …

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