Think Small, Pay Big
Sounds like a Horatio Alger story, doesn’t it? Entrepreneur invents a product to meet a market need, get rich and do a little good along the way. Not quite.
Home Depot wouldn’t pay Powell his asking price for the device. Instead it took pictures and measurements of Powell’s invention, hired a company to manufacture it, and put 2,000 of the safety guards in its stores around the country.
Home Depot saved big in another way. The year before installing the safety device, the company paid $1 million in worker’s compensation costs for employees who lost fingers; the next year it paid $7,000. You do the math.
In May, a federal district judge said that Home Depot had organized a theft of Powell’s device, and called the company “callous” and “arrogant.” In his ruling, he said Home Depot knew exactly what it was doing. “They simply pushed Mr. Powell away and they did it totally and completely for their own economic benefit.”
Goliath isn’t done beating up on David. Home Depot has appealed the case.
The moral of this story is that it’s a David vs. Goliath world out there, and an individual who’s been wronged by a big corporation needs help in their fight to right a wrong and get what they deserve.
I see this all the time with my clients. When it’s one individual against a giant insurance corporation, it’s not very often that it’s a fair fight. Helping clients level the field is why I do what I do.