Commitments and Contingencies
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2014
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|Commitments and Contingencies||
The Company self-insures our product liability, automotive, workers’ compensation, and general liability losses up to $250 per occurrence. Catastrophic coverage has been purchased from third party insurers for occurrences in excess of $250 up to $40,000. The two risk areas involving the most significant accounting estimates are workers’ compensation and automotive liability. Actuarial valuations performed by the Company’s outside risk insurance expert were used by the Company’s management to form the basis for workers’ compensation and automotive liability loss reserves. The actuary contemplated the Company’s specific loss history, actual claims reported, and industry trends among statistical and other factors to estimate the range of reserves required. Risk insurance reserves are comprised of specific reserves for individual claims and additional amounts expected for development of these claims, as well as for incurred but not yet reported claims. The Company believes that the liability of approximately $2,253 recorded for such risk insurance reserves is adequate as of December 31, 2014.
As of December 31, 2014, the Company has provided certain vendors and insurers letters of credit aggregating $3,723 related to our product purchases and insurance coverage of product liability, workers’ compensation, and general liability.
The Company self-insures our group health claims up to an annual stop loss limit of $200 per participant. Aggregate coverage is maintained for annual group health insurance claims in excess of 125% of expected claims. Historical group insurance loss experience forms the basis for the recognition of group health insurance reserves. Provisions for losses expected under these programs are recorded based on an analysis of historical insurance claim data and certain actuarial assumptions. The Company believes that the liability of approximately $2,378 recorded for such group health insurance reserves is adequate as of December 31, 2014.
On October 1, 2013, Hillman Group filed a complaint against Minute Key Inc., a manufacturer of fully-automatic, self-service key duplication kiosks, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Western Division), seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement and invalidity of a U.S. patent issued to Minute Key Inc. on September 10, 2013. Hillman Group’s filing against Minute Key Inc. was in response to a letter dated September 10, 2013 in which Minute Key Inc. alleged that Hillman Group’s FastKey™ product infringes the newly-issued patent.
On October 23, 2013, Minute Key Inc. filed an answer and counterclaim against Hillman Group alleging patent infringement. Minute Key Inc. also requested that the court dismiss Hillman Group’s complaint, enter judgment against Hillman Group that we are willfully and deliberately infringing the patent, grant a permanent injunction, and award unspecified monetary damages to Minute Key Inc.
Minute Key Inc. later filed two motions on March 17, 2014 seeking to voluntarily withdraw its counterclaim alleging infringement by Hillman Group and also to dismiss Hillman Group’s complaint for non-infringement and invalidity. Shortly after an April 23, 2014 court-ordered mediation, Minute Key Inc. provided Hillman Group with a covenant promising not to sue for infringement of two of its patents against any existing Hillman Group product, including the FastKey™ and Key Express™ products.
Hillman Group filed a motion on May 9, 2014 seeking to add additional claims to the case against Minute Key Inc. under Federal and Ohio state unfair competition statutes. These claims relate to Minute Key Inc.’s business conduct during competition with Hillman Group over a mutual client.
In an August 15, 2014 order, the court granted Minute Key Inc.’s March 17, 2014 motions to dismiss the claims relating to patent infringement, but also granted Hillman Group’s May 9, 2014 motion to add its unfair competition claims.
Hillman Group formally amended its complaint to add the unfair competition claims on September 4, 2014, and Minute Key Inc. answered on September 29, 2014 without filing any counterclaims. Minute Key Inc. filed a motion on October 1, 2014 to move the case from Cincinnati to either the District of Colorado or the Western District of Arkansas. The court denied that motion on February 3, 2015.
Because the lawsuit remains in a preliminary stage, it is not yet possible to assess the impact, if any, that the lawsuit will have on the Company. As a result of the Minute Key Inc. covenant not to sue, however, the Company’s FastKey™ and Key Express™ products no longer face any threat of patent infringement liability from two of Minute Key Inc.’s patents. The scope of the lawsuit has changed from a bilateral dispute over patent infringement to a lawsuit solely about Minute Key Inc.’s business conduct. Hillman Group intends to continue to pursue this lawsuit vigorously and believes that it has meritorious claims for Minute Key Inc.’s unfair competition.
On July 14, 2014, PrimeSource Building Products, Inc., a supplier of products and materials in the building, construction, and do-it-yourself industries (“PrimeSource”), filed a complaint against Hillman Group in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Dallas Division) alleging trademark infringement, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment. On August 8, 2014, Hillman Group filed a motion to dismiss the complaint and, on August 29, 2014, PrimeSource filed an amended complaint. On September 12, 2014, Hillman Group filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint and, on October 3, 2014, PrimeSource filed a response to the motion to dismiss the amended complaint. On October 17, 2014, Hillman Group filed a reply in support of its motion to dismiss the amended complaint. The motion to dismiss the amended complaint remains pending before the court.
In addition to its earlier-filed complaint, PrimeSource filed a motion for preliminary injunction on July 30, 2014. On August 20, 2014, Hillman Group filed a response in opposition to the motion for preliminary injunction and, on September 3, 2014, PrimeSource filed a reply in support of its motion for preliminary injunction. On October 1, 2014, Hillman Group filed a surreply in opposition to the motion for preliminary injunction. The parties held a court hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction on March 24 and 25, 2015 and the court announced that it intends to enter a ruling on the motion by March 31, 2015.
Because the lawsuit is in a preliminary stage, it is not yet possible to assess the impact, if any, that the lawsuit will have on the Company. However, Hillman Group believes that it has meritorious defenses to the claims and intends to defend the lawsuit vigorously. Also, Hillman Group’s third party insurer has agreed to defend Hillman Group in the case subject to the right to withdraw its defense and/or to disclaim any obligation to indemnify Hillman Group, and reserving the right to seek a judicial determination that it is not obligated to defend or indemnify Hillman Group.
On December 15, 2014, Maria Santos, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, filed a complaint against Hillman Group and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (“Wal-Mart”) in the United States District Court for the Central District of California (Western Division) alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the California Unruh Civil Rights Act, and the California Disabled Persons Act. On behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Ms. Santos claims to seek, among other things, (1) a preliminary and permanent injunction to correct the alleged violations of these acts, (2) a declaration that Hillman Group and Wal-Mart are violating these acts, and (3) unspecified money damages, as well as recovery of court costs and attorneys’ fees. On January 5, 2015, Hillman Group filed its answer.
The Company has paid a portion of the legal fees incurred by Wal-Mart and its affiliates in this lawsuit in connection with the agreement to license Hillman Group’s products in Wal-Mart’s stores, and expects to pay, in the future, the reasonable legal fees incurred by Wal-Mart in this case.
Because the lawsuit is in a preliminary stage, it is not yet possible to assess the impact or range of loss, if any, that the lawsuit will have on the Company. However, Hillman Group has retained counsel, believes that is has meritorious defenses to the claims, and intends to defend the lawsuit vigorously.
In addition, legal proceedings are pending which are either in the ordinary course of business or incidental to the Company’s business. Those legal proceedings incidental to the business of the Company are generally not covered by insurance or other indemnity. In the opinion of the Company’s management, the ultimate resolution of the pending litigation matters will not have a material adverse effect on the consolidated financial position, operations, or cash flows of the Company.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef