Georgia-based storm shelter company Survive-A-Storm has accused Oklahoma-based StraightLine Shelters of poaching its business and cybersquatting in a federal lawsuit.
In its complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, Survive-A-Storm claims StraightLine Shelters has set up a website with a similar sounding name to intentionally steal its business. With offices in Oklahoma City and Edmond, StraightLine was founded shortly after the series of tornadoes that hit the state in May 2013. StraightLine owns the website www.surviveastorm.com, while Survive-A-Storm owns www.survive-a-storm.com.
Survive-A-Storm also accuses StraightLine of trademark infringement and deceptive trade practices in its lawsuit.
Evan McCormick, an attorney for Survive-A-Storm, could not be reached for comment.
Derrick Ott, president and chief operating officer for StraightLine said he had not seen the lawsuit on Monday, but said he believed Survive-A-Storm’s owners were unhappy that a possible deal to sell the company to StraightLine did not work out.
“They may be disappointed that they were not able to profit on the sale of the company,” Ott said.
Survive-A-Storm claims David Aduddell, a manager for StraightLine, and another employee visited Survive-A Storm’s offices in Georgia and then set up a rival company in Oklahoma.
StraightLine has worked with an engineering firm to develop its storm shelter designs and plans to open a 3,000-square-foot showroom in Moore near the Warren Theater within the next month, Ott said.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified attorney Evan McCormick. He is an attorney for Survive-A-Storm Shelters.