AKRON, OHIO — In an article appearing in the March issue of CONTRACTOR magazine (pg.1), Dan Chiles of Heatway was quoted, commenting about a federal court case between Heatway and Goodyear recently concluded in Cleveland. In one of his comments, Chiles represented that Goodyear took a certain position during confidential pretrial settlement negotiations in that case. Chiles’ representation was false in form and substance. In addition to being false, his comments violated the express confidentiality directives of the court.
Because the content of settlement discussions are always confidential, and the court had made that clear to the attorneys and the parties, the court directed Dan Chiles to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of court for his actions in this matter. A show cause hearing was held on March 10, according to a March 14 order of Federal Judge Dan Aaron Polster.
Judge Polster, in his March 14 order, declined to find Chiles’ violation of the confidentiality directive willful, and therefore declined to hold him in contempt. Nonetheless, Judge Polster ordered that, because of Chiles’ violation, Goodyear could “make one statement, in whatever form or fashion it chooses, in response to the statement by Dan Chiles published in CONTRACTOR magazine.” This is Goodyear’s statement:
Dan Chiles’ statement was false. Heatway knows that where systems using Entran II as a component part had problems, those problems invariably are the result of improper system design, installation, operation or maintenance — not the result of any defect in the hose. Heatway failed to get sufficient information on system installation, operation or maintenance to installers and system users, leading directly to the limited problems that have occurred with systems in the field. Heatway’s attacks on the hose are a cynical effort to misdirect installers, users and the public away from the real problems — problems that Heatway itself in large part created. In settlement negotiations, Heatway indicated it was willing to begin telling system installers and users the truth about the real cause of the problems — but only if Goodyear would make payments to Heatway. Goodyear refused to pay Heatway to tell the truth — something Heatway should have done (and should do) regardless.
Manager/Public Relations Service
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.