The Work

October 28, 2008 7:41 PM

Manatt To Boeing: Fork Over $1 Billion, Please

Posted by Zach Lowe

The team from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips that last week won a $370.6 million verdict against Boeing in a breach of contract case said they were a bit disappointed that the jury came back with a figure far below the $1.5 billion they'd asked for.

On Tuesday, the Manatt lawyers tried to make up the difference by asking for $949 million in punitive damages -- about half from Boeing and half from Boeing's satellite communications subsidiary, according to Bloomberg.

Boeing's team from Munger, Tolles & Olsen argued for much less, saying the original verdict damaged Boeing's reputation enough and that Boeing's satellite subsidiary doesn't have enough money to cover the damages request. Boeing has said it will appeal last week's verdict. Brad Brian, the lead Munger attorney on the case, has declined comment. Barry Lee and Robert Zeavin, the Manatt partners representing ICO Global Communications, did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

ICO claimed Boeing reneged on a deal, signed in the mid-1990s, to build and launch 12 satellites for ICO, Lee and Zeavin have said. ICO terminated the deal in 2004 when Boeing said it needed to charge an extra $400 million to complete the project. Lee and Zeavin claimed Boeing, having just entered the satellite communications market itself, wanted to drive ICO out.

Boeing argued the additional $400 million resulted from delays ICO requested. A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury sided with ICO.

The $371.6 million verdict was already the third-largest of the year, according to Bloomberg data. Jurors will begin deliberating punitive damages today.

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