Cook Composites exonerated in gelcoat claim

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Cook Composites and Polymers was again found not responsible for cracking of gelcoat on yachts built by Viking Yacht Co. and Post Marine Co. between 1997 and 2004.

The opinion, issued last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, affirms a jury verdict issued last July after a five-week trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

"We are very pleased to put this behind us once and for all. Although this outcome was always expected, it is nice that we can finally redirect all of our attention back to the more productive activity of focusing on our customers and business," CCP president and CEO Paul Colonna said in a statement.

The Third Circuit also affirmed the district court's summary judgment rulings, including its ruling dismissing the plaintiffs' New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claims and common law fraud claims on the eve of the trial, according to CCP's attorneys.

At trial last year, CCP presented evidence that the gelcoat in question met CCP's warranties, that Viking's and Post's experience was unique to them and not shared by any of CCP's other gelcoat customers, and offered expert testimony in support of CCP's product.

Viking had no comment, as the company had yet to review the decision with its lawyers, spokesman Peter Fredericksen told Soundings Trade Only.

A representative from Post Marine had no comment.

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