Alabama Aircraft Industries Inc. has won in a federal appeals court that ruled that the Birmingham-based aerospace company will be given another chance at proving that Boeing used AAI trade secrets to bid for an Air Force contract that was eventually awarded to Boeing. Originally, AAI and Boeing worked together in bidding for the Air Force contract in 2008. However, when their relationship soured, Boeing decided to apply for the contract on its own and won.
In 2011, AAI sued Boeing, claiming the aerospace giant misused private information about the Birmingham-based company’s pricing, costs and workflow to win the Air Force contract. AAI also alleged Boeing knew that previous contract work awarded to AAI comprised 80 percent of the Birmingham company’s revenue, and that Boeing could force the company out of business if it dropped AAI from the bid. AAI claims that it lost $100 million from Boeing’s alleged theft and filed for bankruptcy protection.
In 2020, a jury awarded AAI more than $2.1 million after agreeing that Boeing had breached contracts with the company, despite an Alabama Judge rejecting AAI’s trade secret claims prior to the trial.
AAI would have sued in time under Missouri trade-secret law, but the lower court said Alabama law and its shorter time limit applied, Reuters reported.
AAI asked the 11th Circuit to revive those claims, while Boeing requested a new trial. Circuit Judges Jill Pryor and Robert Luck ruled for AAI in a joint opinion on Monday, according to Reuters. AAI’s attorney Laurie Daniel of Holland & Knight said the case has been a “long, hard fight” and that she appreciated the court’s “thorough and analytical” opinion.
Boeing and its attorney didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Contact ITMG to Develop Strategies and Protocols Designed to Help Your Company Mitigate Your Insider Risk
ITMG is an industry leader in helping organizations throughout the United States strengthen their insider risk management programs and secure sensitive data and intellectual property. Our team of bona fide experts has the real-world experience necessary to plan out and create holistic security solutions tailored to the needs and risks in your industry. Contact ITMG today to learn more about how we can help! You can also visit our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages for more updates and insights into the world of insider risk management.