December 14, 2009
Reed Construction Data amends lawsuit against McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge
New charges allege Dodge illegally accessed RCD systems to misappropriate data, gain competitive advantage
Reed Construction Data (RCD), a leading construction information provider and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reed Elsevier, on Dec. 11 amended a suit in federal court against McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The amended complaint raises new charges that Dodge unlawfully misappropriated RCD’s confidential and trade secret information regarding specific construction projects and used that information to populate its own project database.
The original lawsuit, filed Oct. 8, 2009, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, charged that Dodge since 2002 used a series of fake companies to pose as RCD customers and gain access to RCD’s construction project information database.
RCD’s amended complaint now alleges that Dodge also used its access to RCD’s database to misappropriate RCD’s construction information by downloading hundreds of project-related documents and viewing the specific details for thousands of construction projects. Dodge subsequently used this information to populate its own database.
Because of this conduct, Dodge was able to make misleading claims that its products were superior to RCD’s, thus preventing companies from making fair and objective comparisons of RCD’s and Dodge’s products. As a result, hundreds of companies made misinformed buying decisions and in many instances paid a higher price for construction data services.
The amended complaint cites multiple counts of misconduct by Dodge, including fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, misappropriation of confidential information, unfair competition, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, violation of New York’s general business law, violation of the RICO Act, RICO conspiracy, monopolization, attempted monopolization and unjust enrichment.
The suit seeks an unspecified amount in lost profits and punitive damages, trial by jury, and injunctive relief as a result of Dodge’s misuse of RCD’s proprietary construction project information.
Iain Melville, CEO of Reed Construction Data, said: “We welcome strong competition, but it is simply not acceptable for a company to try and gain unfair advantage by misappropriating our data via deceptive means to distort the market. We believe this was an attempt by Dodge to drive RCD out of business, and we look forward to the courts addressing these violations.”
The New York office of international law firm Troutman Sanders LLP filed the amended action, led by partner William N. Withrow, Jr.
For more information, visit www.reedconstructiondata.com/mhcdodgesuit.
Cohn & Wolfe Public Relations
About Reed Construction Data
Reed Construction Data, a division of Reed Business Information and the Inaugural Strategic Partner of the AIA, is a leading North American provider of construction information through a diverse portfolio of innovative products and services. Reed offers its customers building information modeling (BIM) solutions, construction project leads, building product information, construction cost tools, market analytics and construction news through a suite of online and print references — all valuable resources for architects, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, distributors and other professionals in the construction industry. For more information, visit www.reedconstructiondata.com or call 877-REED411.
Reed Business Information, a part of the Reed Elsevier Group plc (NYSE:RUK and ENL), is North America’s largest business-to-business information provider, with more than 80 market-leading publications, 55 Websites and a range of leading business-to-business services.
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