Casket competitors settle lawsuit over poached customers employees for $17 million, fees

A casket manufacturer has agreed to pay a Pittsburgh-based competitor $17 million to settle claims it stole customers and employees and interfered with business operations.

Batesville, Indiana-based Batesville Casket Co. will also pay $1.75 million in Monday's settlement to cover attorney fees for two employees who used to work for Matthews International Corp.

Matthews sued Batesville claiming the company interfered with business relations by poaching customers from its subsidiaries, the York Group and Milso Industries Corp.

Matthews also accused former employees Harry and Scott Pontone of breaching their employment covenants.

Batesville did not immediately respond to a message.