Home Depot had a problem: their employees kept sawing off their own extremities with the saws they used to cut lumber for customers. Michael Powell invented a gadget which fixed the problem, and offered to sell the device to the chain for $2,000 each. Then, the inventor’s lawsuit alleged, Home Depot simply stole the gadget’s design, made their own, and wouldn’t compensate him. “F*** Michael Powell. Let him sue us.” one executive said at the time. Now the chain must pay him a judgment of about $25 million.
Paying Powell for his invention in the first place would have cost $4 million for the devices that are now installed in 2,000 stores.
Home Depot called arrogant, ordered to pay ex-Boca Raton inventor millions more [Palm Beach Post] (Thanks, Bill!)