Specialized awarded $1 in lawsuit

Specialized Bicycle Components won $1 in damages from a competing company founded by two of its former employees.

Specialized, which is headquartered in Morgan Hill, sued the Volagi company’s two founders, Robert Choi and Barley Forsman, for breach of contract in Santa Clara County Superior Court, according to media reports. The two former Specialized employees were accused of violating their contract with Specialized by plotting to form their own company while they were still working there.

After a two-week trial, a jury Friday returned a mixed verdict, with Choi found guilty and Forsman found not guilty, according to media reports. The jury awarded Specialized $1 in damages.

“This lawsuit was a matter of principle and about protecting our culture of trust and innovation,” Specialized said in a statement released after the jury’s verdict was announced. “We respect the ruling of the court in our favor. We are very satisfied with the outcome and the damages set at $1. We really want to put all our passion and time into growing the sport of cycling.”

A phone call and e-mail sent to Volagi requesting comment were not answered.

Specialized’s original complaint, filed last year, accused the pair of ex-employees of stealing the Morgan Hill company’s bike designs and using them at their new company, according to news reports. However, those accusations were unfounded in court.

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