International Security Expert Elias Wexler Files Suit against Allegion, Schlage over Damage to Business and Reputation, Smith & Associates Announces

NEW YORK--()--Calling them predators bent on achieving their growth ambitions at the expense of the entrepreneurs who developed many of their most successful product lines, international security, fireproofing and door hardware expert Elias Wexler has filed suit against Allegion (UK) plc and Schlage Lock Company, LLC, alleging age discrimination, breach of contract, defamation, unjust enrichment and a pattern of other damaging conduct and business practices, Smith & Associates has announced.

“The damage my family and I have suffered as a result of Allegion’s dishonesty and shameful acquisition practices goes well beyond financial harm”

Wexler, 65, gained renown over nearly four decades as an inventor of security, fireproofing and door hardware products. Products developed by Wexler and his company, Zero International Inc., have been used in prominent buildings around the globe, including the White House, the Pentagon, the United Nations headquarters, London’s Olympic Stadium, the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, and New York’s new Freedom Tower.

According to the complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court, Allegion acquired Zero International on April 1, 2015, making numerous commitments and assurances to Wexler in the process, including an 18-month employment contract, a promise to continue working with Wexler’s companies in South America, Asia and the Middle East, the permanent title of president emeritus of Zero International and support for the continuation of his leadership roles on numerous government and industry committees and standards-setting bodies.

Despite hiring Wexler with great fanfare, however, in September 2015 Allegion terminated him without notice and publicly humiliated him by having him escorted from his office by security guards in front of colleagues and co-workers. The defendants gave no explanation of Wexler’s abrupt and public termination, creating the false impression that Wexler had engaged in some kind of misconduct. They also allowed damaging rumors to circulate unchecked throughout the industry to which he had dedicated his entire professional life. As a result, the suit says, Wexler suffered irreparable damage to his reputation, was asked to step down from several prominent industry positions and is no longer invited to speak as an expert in his field, the complaint says

The suit seeks $10 million in compensatory and punitive damages, a three-year term on Allegion’s board of directors, a public apology and additional damages to be determined at trial.

“The damage my family and I have suffered as a result of Allegion’s dishonesty and shameful acquisition practices goes well beyond financial harm,” Wexler said. “To have built a reputation over more than 35 years only to have it destroyed by an organization that acquires small companies with the intention of capitalizing on their valuable intellectual property and then casting aside and discrediting the dedicated individuals who created it – that is a loss no amount of money can compensate.”

For a copy of the original complaint, New York State Supreme Court Index #21347/2016E, click here.

Contacts

Reputation Architects Inc.
Rosemarie Yu, Esq., 917-647-8454
or
Smith & Associates
E. David Smith, Esq., 201-250-5385

Release Summary

International security expert Elias Wexler files suit in New York State Supreme Court against Allegion plc and Schlage Lock Company alleging age discrimination, defamation and breach of contract.