A federal judge in California declined to dismiss TYR Sport's antitrust
lawsuit against Speedo and USA Swimming over Speedo's record-breaking
LZR Racer swimsuit. The decision allows the case to go to trial next
The decision issued by U.S. District Judge James Selna of Santa Ana,
Calif., made public said nine of the 10 claims made by TYR were strong
enough to at least be heard in court. Also named in the suit is U.S.
head coach Mark Schubert and Olympic swimmer Erik Vendt, who switched
from TYR to Speedo.
The case is scheduled for trial in March 2010.
TYR claimed the exclusive endorsement relationship between USA Swimming
and Speedo, along with Schubert's dual role as Olympic coach and paid
Speedo endorser, was an unlawful restraint of trade.
According to TYR, USA Swimming and Schubert tried to persuade
Olympic-caliber swimmers to switch to Speedo's revolutionary “LZR
Racer” suit – even if they had sponsorship deals with other companies.
TYR also claimed that Schubert made untrue and disparaging statements
about products manufactured by TYR, as well as those of other Speedo
“We are pleased by this ruling,” said Larry Hilton, attorney for TYR.
Speedo, USA Swimming and Schubert had filed motions seeking to dismiss
TYR's claims, and a separate motion was filed by USA Swimming and
Schubert to strike TYR's state law claims.
Selna did toss out TYR's allegation of trade libel, saying the
California-based company failed to show Speedo caused “special damages”
with its promotion of the LZR suit. The judge said TYR could amend the
claim and file it again.