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Old 08-23-2008, 06:18 PM
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Eaton Compressor threatens to sue me over "Made in China" compressor post

Just wanted to let everyone know that Matt Cain, the President of Eaton Compressor, has threatened me with a frivolous lawsuit over a discussion that mentions how Eaton Compressors are made in China. He also indicated that he had previously pressured other forums into deleting similar threads.

Mr. Cain has been attempting to strong-arm me into revealing the identity of a Hotrodders.com forum member, and threatening me with legal action if I didn't remove a certain post on this forum. Most recently, after a phone call with Mr. Cain in which he told me: "I will not stop with just making threats", I got a letter from Mr. Cain's lawyer, Richard W. Miller of the law firm Balyeat, Leahy, Daley & Miller, requesting the identity of the poster.

I have refused to provide Mr. Cain's lawyer with any information (ie: email address or IP addresses) that would lead to the identity of the Hotrodders.com member.

If you are a forum administrator reading this thread, here's the important part: You don't have to delete anything for Eaton Compressor, or give them any information about anybody. They have no legal ground to stand on, and are simply threatening you with baseless legal claims.

On this forum, the post in question is here. It's currently coming up #3 in Google for searches for "Eaton compressor". In the post, a Hotrodders.com member quoted a post from GarageJournal.com, in which a GarageJournal.com member quoted an email from Eaton Compressor, stating that certain Eaton products are "built in China".

Mr. Cain has made some ridiculous legal claims about this post in an attempt to get it pulled. Oddly, the post appears to simply be reproducing an email sent by Eaton Compressor itself.

Mr. Cain told me that "if 60% of the machine is made here, the machine is considered 'Made in the USA' by law", which seems be a generous interpretation of the actual docs from the Federal Trade Commission. It's very interesting to see how the President of a huge compressor company interprets the concept of "Made in the USA". Not that there's anything inherently evil about Chinese manufacturing, but there is something wrong with twisting the truth.

In the letter from the law firm, Mr. Cain's lawyer said: "In fact the reference to the product being made in China is simply no longer truthful."

Yes folks, he didn't say "not true" he said "no longer truthful". My guess is that, the compressor in question was originally considered "Made in China", and an Eaton Compressor tech guy revealed that in an email to a prospective customer, who reproduced it on a forum. Later, through generous mathematics and some creative lawyering, perhaps Eaton Compressor was able to bring the spin on that product up over Cain's "60%" figure, and thus could now claim that it was "Made in the USA". After they took care of that, Cain probably wanted to do some retroactive damage control, and figured some administrator-threatening would work to eliminate the evidence from Google.

I have no idea as to what percentage of Eaton Compressor's products are manufactured in China, and I'm not familiar with the in-the-trenches legal maneuvering that decides the day-to-day interpretation of the phrase "Made in the USA". However, I could not help but notice that an article in the Dayton Business Journal revealed that Mr. Cain is investing $5 million in a new company, Eaton-Max, to retail the products he manufactures. The article stated: "Cain is launching the new venture by teaming up with a silent partner out of China. The Chinese partner and Cain each will own 50 percent of Eaton-Max."

Judging from public minutes of commissioner's meetings in Mr. Cain's county, as well as posts that Mr. Cain has made on a local Ohio forum, it appears that he has a reputation for threatening people with frivolous lawsuits.

In my final communication with Mr. Cain, he said to me: "You will pay for this".



When I told Mr. Cain that I would be letting people know about his behind-the-scenes intimidation tactics to spin the percentage of "Made in China" parts in his compressors, he uttered a truly classic line: "You will be in even more bigger trouble".


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