After a protracted legal battle, HarperCollins Christian Publishing’s Thomas Nelson subsidiary paid printing company EPAC Technologies, Inc. $3,130,067.71 on September 23 in accordance with a final judgment, marking what is likely the end of a breach of contract lawsuit EPAC filed against the publisher nearly eight years ago.
EPAC Technologies, Inc., which provides book manufacturing, fulfillment, and distribution services, first filed suit against Nelson in 2012 (before Nelson was acquired by HarperCollins) seeking lost profits and damages after the publisher allegedly failed to provide the agreed-upon order requisites laid out in its contract before seeking new pricing from another vendor and eventually terminating EPAC’s five-year deal allegedly without proper cause, according to court documents.
On January 18, 2019, a jury awarded EPAC $3 million in compensatory damages, plus $60,000 in fraudulent concealment damages, and $12 million in punitive damages. Nelson, however, challenged the judgment and in July 2019 the court tossed the $12 million in punitive damages and the fraudulent concealment award, while upholding the $3 million award for breach of contract.
A spokesperson for Thomas Nelson confirmed to PW that the publisher has paid the judgement.
"In a unanimous ruling, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of EPAC’s allegations of fraud as a matter of law. The Court of Appeals found that there was 'a complete lack of evidence' to support such a claim in what was in fact 'a simple contract dispute,'" the statement reads. "The company continues to believe it fulfilled all its contractual obligations. However, we are thankful to put this simple contract dispute in the past."