PEAT, Inc. v Vanguard Research Inc., U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D.
Ala., No. CV 99-BE-2553-NE, July 30, 2002.
PEAT, Inc., developed a unique technology for using plasma energy to destroy hazardous wastes. In 1997, PEAT entered into an agreement with Vanguard Research Inc., a government contractor, providing that PEAT would design and build plasma waste destruction-systems and Vanguard would market the systems to its clients. PEAT and Vanguard also agreed that Vanguard would not use or disclose PEAT’s proprietary technology for any purpose other than to market the systems to potential customers.
Vanguard secured two government contracts to provide waste systems using PEAT’s technology. After PEAT completed the first system, Vanguard built the second system using PEAT’s technology. Vanguard continued to market PEAT’s technology and presented itself as having an unrestricted license to market and use the technology.
PEAT brought suit for breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets. A jury awarded plaintiff about $10.93 million, including $8.8 million in punitive damages.
Plaintiff’s experts were Thomas Eddy, plasma pyrolysis, Idaho Falls, Idaho; Robert Kirldand, plasma pyrolysis, Starkville, Miss.; Richard Lindsey, plasma pyrolysis, Brentwood, Tenn.; and Dave Borden, finances, Montgomery, Ala.