Gec Plessey Semiconductors Wins Federal Case
On September 26, 2002, after a three week jury trial in the United States Federal Court in Newark, New Jersey, a verdict of $1,000,000 was returned in favor of defendant GEC Plessey Semiconductors, Inc. against plaintiff ITT Aerospace/Communications. ITT initiated the litigation in 1998 with a Complaint alleging that in 1992, Plessey fraudulently sold ITT defective semiconductors that ITT needed for use in the Global Positioning Satellite project it was building for the United States Air Force. ITT sought $3.9 million in compensatory damages, plus "substantial" punitive damages on its fraud claim.
Plessey admitted that the semiconductors contained an unintended design limitation, but contended that the parts still complied with the requirements of the ITT contract. Plessey also alleged that ITT's claim that the parts were noncompliant to the contract was a pretense intended to cover its true intention of acquiring the same semiconductor parts from different manufacturers at considerable savings. Plessey also claimed that ITT's conduct constituted a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
The jury found for Plessey on all claims, resulting in the $1 million dollar verdict in Plessey's favor and a "no cause" against ITT on its complaint. Plessey was represented by partners Kenneth M. Van Deventer and Michael R. O'Donnell of Morristown law firm Riker Danzig, assisted by associate David R. Hausmann. ITT was represented by partners Michael S. Waters, Robert M. Goodman and Marc E. Wolin of the Carpenter, Bennett & Morrissey law firm in Newark. The trial was presided over by the Honorable Dennis M. Cavanaugh, U.S.D.J.