|9 Months Ended|
Jun. 26, 2021
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
The Company may from time to time become involved in legal proceedings in the ordinary course of business. Currently, the Company is not a party to any legal proceedings that management believes are likely to have a material effect on the Company’s financial position or results of operations with the potential exception of the proceeding below.
In 2012, Nite Glow Industries, Inc and its owner, Marni Markell, (“Nite Glow”) filed suit in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey against the Company alleging that the applicator developed and used by the Company for certain of its branded topical flea and tick products infringes a patent held by Nite Glow and asserted related claims for breach of contract and misappropriation of confidential information based on the terms of a Non-Disclosure Agreement. On June 27, 2018, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Nite Glow on each of the three claims and awarded damages of approximately $12.6 million. The court ruled on post-trial motions in early June 2020, reducing the judgment amount to $12.4 million and denying the plaintiff's request for attorneys' fees. The Company filed its notice of appeal and the plaintiffs cross-appealed. On July 14, 2021, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision on the appeal. The court reversed the existing judgment in favor of the Company on the patent claim and determined that the breach of contract claim raised no non-duplicative damages and should be dismissed. The court affirmed the jury's liability verdict on the misappropriation of confidential information claim but ordered a new trial on damages on that single claim limited to the "head start" benefit, if any, generated by the confidential information. The Company intends to vigorously pursue its defenses in the future proceedings and believes that it will prevail on the merits as to the head start damages issue. While the Company believes that the ultimate resolution of this matter will not have a material impact on the Company's consolidated financial statements, the outcome of litigation is inherently uncertain and the final resolution of this matter may result in expense to the Company in excess of management's expectations.
During fiscal 2013, the Company received notices from several states stating that they have appointed an agent to conduct an examination of the books and records of the Company to determine whether it has complied with state unclaimed property laws. In addition to seeking unclaimed property subject to escheat laws, the states may seek interest, penalties and other relief. The examinations are continuing; as a result, the ultimate resolution and impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements is uncertain.
In November 2019, the DMC business unit in the Company's Pet Segment experienced a fire in one of its leased properties located in Athens, Texas, which resulted in inventory, property-related and business interruption losses in the estimated range of $35 million to $40 million. In April 2020, DMC experienced an additional fire in the same leased property in Athens, Texas, which resulted in inventory and property-related losses estimated to be approximately $10 million.
The Company currently believes its insurance coverage is sufficient to cover the remaining asset-related losses as well as the business interruption loss associated with this event.
The Company has experienced, and may in the future experience, issues with products that may lead to product liability, recalls, withdrawals, replacements of products, or regulatory actions by governmental authorities. The Company has not experienced recent issues with products, the resolution of which, management believes would have a material effect on the Company’s financial position or results of operations.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef