Bridgestone seeks $600 million from Big Blue

Updated Nov. 19, 2013 at 2:38 PM
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NASHVILLE, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Bridgestone Americas is seeking $600 million in compensation from U.S. technology giant IBM for installing a flawed computer system, court papers say.

In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Nashville, Bridgestone says it ordered a state-of-the-art computer system from IBM to manage its distribution, warehousing, transportation and sales operations.

But that system, launched in January 2012, very quickly exhibited "crippling defects that had a devastating impact on [Bridgestone's] business," papers filed in court say.

In response, IBM said Bridgestone made repeated mistakes with the computer system and ignored warnings to "prematurely roll-out the implementation across its entire business."

"The claims against IBM are exaggerated, factually wrong and without merit," the technology giant said in a statement.

The lawsuit says the computer system caused losses of more than $200 million. Under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, however, the company is seeking triple the actual damage, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported Tuesday.

"The system-wide failures of the IBM [equipment] in the first three months of 2012 completely disrupted every aspect of business operations -- including sales-order processing, warehouse management, transportation management and logistics," the company charged.

"Tires which should have been delivered to fill customer orders ... piled up in distribution centers, smaller warehouses and trailers parked in parking lots. Ultimately, [Bridgestone] was forced to lease an enormous amount [of] public warehouse space at great expense," Bridgestone said.

IBM said it would "vigorously defend itself."

"Bridgestone's own errors made this a troubled project," IBM said.

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