Justia Virginia Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Antitrust & Trade Regulation
Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. Areva NP, Inc.
This case involved a royalty dispute over the use of nuclear technology. Areva NP, Inc. filed a complaint against Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) and affiliated companies (collectively, the B&W defendants), alleging breach of contract and violation of the Virginia Uniform Trade Secrets Act. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of Areva on both claims. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the trial court erred by failing to set aside the verdict and by entering judgment for the B&W defendants on Areva’s royalty and trade secrets claims. Final judgment entered dismissing Areva’s claims. View "Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. Areva NP, Inc." on Justia Law
Navar, Inc. v. Federal Bus. Council
The United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency sought a prime contractor to provide event-planning services. Plaintiffs offered their services as joint subcontractors to Navar, Inc. Plaintiffs and Navar entered into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and a Teaming Agreement, which provided that if Navar were awarded a prime contract then it would negotiate in good faith with Plaintiffs. The Defense Agency awarded Navar a five-year prime contract, but Navar did not extend subcontracts to either Plaintiff. Thereafter, Plaintiffs sued Navar, asserting claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, quantum meruit, and trade secret misappropriation. A jury found (1) Navar had breached the NDA and Teaming Agreement, and (2) Navar misappropriated one plaintiff’s trade secretes under the Virginia Uniform Trade Secrets Act. The trial court set aside the verdict on breach of the Teaming Agreement and entered judgment in favor of Plaintiffs in the total amount of $1.25 million. The Supreme Court reversed in part and affirmed in part, holding (1) Navar could not be found liable for breach of contract because nothing in the Act or the NDA required Navar to use Plaintiffs as subcontractors; and (2) the trial court did not err in finding the Teaming Agreement was unenforceable as a binding contract. View "Navar, Inc. v. Federal Bus. Council" on Justia Law
Preferred Sys. Solutions, Inc. v. GP Consulting, LLC
These companion appeals arose out of a dispute between a government contractor, Preferred Systems Solutions, Inc. (PSS) and one of its subcontractors, GP Consulting, LLC (GP). PSS sued GP following GP's termination of its contract with PSS and its commencement of a subsequent contract with a PSS competitor. PSS alleged breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, and tortious interference with contract, seeking injunctive as well as monetary relief. PSS was ultimately awarded $172,396 in compensatory damages based on the circuit court's finding that GP breached the noncompete clause in the parties' contract. Both parties appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in (1) awarding damages to PSS for lost profits as a result of GP's breach of the noncompete clause; and (2) refusing to grant PSS injunctive relief, in concluding that PSS failed to prove tortious interference, and in dismissing PSS' trade secret claim. View "Preferred Sys. Solutions, Inc. v. GP Consulting, LLC" on Justia Law
21st Century Sys. v. Perot Sys. Gov’t Servs., Inc.
Perot Systems Government Services filed an amended complaint against Defendants, 21st Century Systems, Inc, and several individuals, alleging that Defendants, all of whom were former Perot employees, conspired for the purpose of willfully and maliciously attempting to destroy Perot and steal away Perot business by unfairly and improperly using Perot's confidential and proprietary information. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Perot on all claims. The Supreme Court reversed in part and affirmed in part, holding (1) the trial court abused its discretion when it denied defense motions to strike testimony regarding lost goodwill damages, and accordingly, the court erred when it refused to set aside the jury's award of lost goodwill damages based upon that testimony; (2) the court did not err when it refused to set aside the jury's award of both punitive and treble damages in favor of Perot; and (3) the court did not err when it refused to set aside the jury's award of computer forensics damages. View "21st Century Sys. v. Perot Sys. Gov't Servs., Inc." on Justia Law
Collelo v. Geographic Services, Inc.
Geographic Services, Inc. (GSI) hired Anthony Collelo for work that exposed Collelo to confidential information and alleged trade secrets. GSI and Collelo executed an employment agreement that included a non-disclosure provision prohibiting Collelo from disclosing GSI's confidential information. Collelo later resigned from GSI and was hired by Boeing. GSI subsequently filed suit against Boeing, Autometric, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boeing, and Collelo (collectively, Defendants), alleging breach of contract, violation of the Trade Secrets Act, and tortious interference with GSI's contract with Collelo. The trial court granted Defendants' motion to strike and dismissed GSI's entire case with prejudice. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the trial court erred when it dismissed GSI's claims under the Trade Secrets Act; (2) the trial court did not err when it dismissed GI's remaining claims; and (3) the trial court did not err when it denied Collelo's motion for attorneys' fees in relation to GSI's breach of contract claim. Remanded for a new trial on GSI's claims under the Trade Secrets Act. View "Collelo v. Geographic Services, Inc." on Justia Law