Commitments and contingencies
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2017
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|Commitments and contingencies||
Commitments and contingencies
Operating Lease Obligations
The Company leases office space and warehouse facilities under various lease agreements which expire through March 2024. The Company subleases portions of its corporate offices and manufacturing facility to sub-tenants under annual sublease agreements, on a calendar year basis. Total rent expense for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 amounted to $700,335 and $691,769, offset by $34,995 and $63,842 in rent paid by sub-lessees, to both related and unrelated parties, for a net amount of $665,340 and $627,927, respectively.
The Company leased one passenger vehicle under a lease agreement expiring in 2018. Vehicle rent expense amounted to $1,571 and $6,918 during the year ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.
Future minimum lease payments under all non-cancelable operating leases as of December 31, 2017 consist of the following:
The Company guarantees certain obligations of a former subsidiary of ADGE, EuroSite Power Inc. These guarantees include a payment performance guarantee in respect of collateralized equipment financing loans, with a remaining principal amount outstanding subject to the guarantee at December 31, 2017 of approximately $286,500 due ratably in equal installments through September 2021, and certain guarantees of performance in respect of certain customer contracts. Based on current conditions, the Company does not believe there to be any amounts probable of payment by the Company under any of the guarantees and has estimated the value associated with the non-contingent aspect of the guarantees is approximately $10,000 which is recorded as a liability in the accompanying financial statements.
The Company is a party to a pending action in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, described below, related to the Merger.
Massachusetts Superior Court Action
On or about February 6, 2017, ADGE, John Hatsopoulos, George N. Hatsopoulos, Charles T. Maxwell, Deanna M. Petersen, Christine Klaskin, John Rowe, Joan Giacinti, Elias Samaras, Tecogen, and Merger Sub were served with a Verified Complaint by William C. May ("May"), individually and on behalf of the other shareholders of ADGE as a class. The action was commenced in the Business Litigation Session of the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Civil Action No. 17-0390. The complaint alleged class action claims arising out of the proposed Merger. On May 31, 2017, May voluntarily dismissed the action and consolidated his claims with the pending federal action in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. If the complaint in the federal court is dismissed, it is possible that May or another plaintiff will recommence an action in state court with similar claims to those asserted by May.
United States District Court Action
On or about February 15, 2017, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts by Lee Vardakas (“Vardakas”), individually and on behalf of other stockholders of ADGE, naming ADGE, John N. Hatsopoulos, George N. Hatsopoulos, Benjamin Locke, Charles T. Maxwell, Deanne M. Petersen, Christine M. Klaskin, John Rowe, Joan Giacinti, Elias Samaras, Tecogen., Merger Sub., and Cassel Salpeter and Co., LLC, as defendants. The action is captioned Vardakas v. American DG Energy, Inc., Case No. 17-CV-10247(LTS). At the time Vardakas commenced the action, his complaint challenged the proposed Merger between Tecogen and ADGE.
Following the consummation of the Merger (and the appointment of May, from the Massachusetts Superior Court Action, as lead plaintiff), Vardakas filed an Amended Class Action Complaint (the “Amended Complaint”). The Amended Complaint discontinued the claims against Cassel Salpeter & Co., LLC but asserted against the remaining defendants claims under Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and SEC Rule 14a-9; claims against certain defendants for control person liability under § 20(a) of the Exchange Act (collectively, the “Federal Securities Law Claims”); and common law claims for breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting (the “State Law Claims”). The Federal Securities Law Claims allege, in substance, that defendants made material nondisclosure in the proxy statement about the process leading to the Merger and about the fairness opinion relied upon by ADGE’s Board of Directors in recommending the Merger to shareholders. The State Law Claims assert, in substance, that defendants breached their fiduciary duties in negotiating and approving the Merger, which, plaintiff claims, deprived ADGE’s non-affiliated shareholders of fair value for their shares.
On July 19, 2017, defendants moved to dismiss the Amended Complaint. In their motion filings, defendants contend that the Federal Securities Law Claims are not sufficiently pleaded and fail to state a viable claim. Defendants also assert that if the Federal Securities Law Claims are dismissed, the district court must also dismiss the State Law Claims because it would lack subject matter jurisdiction.
On February 28, 2018 the parties presented their oral arguments on the defendant's motion to dismiss. On March 2, 2018 the district court rendered its decision, dismissing the Federal Securities Law Claims, but retaining the State Law Claims. The district court exercised supplemental jurisdiction over the State Law Claims and ordered the Defendants to file an answer to the Amended Complaint addressing the State Law Claims. On March 12, 2018 the Defendants filed their answer.
The Company believes that the lawsuit is without merit and intends to defend vigorously. The Amended Complaint does not specify the amount of damages claimed and the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome is not reasonably estimable.