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Country Coach Inc. is suing industry newcomer Legacy Coach LLC of Coburg, Ore., for allegedly stealing trade secrets, including a shark logo and the plans for a new line of motor coaches, according to a report in the Register-Guard in Eugene.
Industry veteran Thomas Nestell, a former Country Coach employee who also founded bus-converter Marathon Coach, began production on Legacy Coach’s first unit in May. According to the paper, Nestell had not yet filed a response to the lawsuit.
Country Coach, based in Junction City, Ore., is seeking $10 million in damages in Lane County Circuit Court, claiming that Legacy Coach misappropriated intellectual property related to its upcoming Legacy line.
“Country Coach Inc. welcomes competition in its business but only fair and legal competition,” wrote Country Coach’s attorney Randy Turnbow. “It has filed this action only because it believes that doing so was necessary to recover its misappropriated property and protect its legal rights.”
Country Coach says Nestell misused his position to take confidential information about the Legacy line, then began competing with the company in September of 2002. He left Country Coach on Feb. 19, 2003, the lawsuit states.