Jury awards IS&S $6M in Kollsman suit

 - December 28, 2007, 5:33 AM

A jury has ruled in favor of Innovative Solutions & Support in a lawsuit against Kollsman and other parties stemming from allegations of stolen air-data computer technology.

IS&S filed a lawsuit last year in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee against Elbit subsidiary Kollsman and other entities including J2 Aviation, Joseph Caesar, James Zachary and Zachary Technologies, accusing the defendants of “misappropriating” IS&S’s air-data computer technology.

According to IS&S’s lawsuit, Caesar, a former IS&S vice president, and Zachary, a former IS&S sales representative, “breached contractual and other obligations owed to Innovative Solutions & Support.” The jury awarded IS&S damages of $4.4 million in lost profits and $1.6 million to compensate for the defendants’ net profits. Pursuing this case cost IS&S $1.5 million in legal expenses. IS&S president Roman Ptakowski told AIN that while J2 has agreed to pay damages, the remaining defendants’ next legal steps are still pending. “We’re in the injunction and damages phase in hearings with the judge,” he said.

Ptakowski also confirmed that IS&S has begun shipping flat-panel display systems to Eclipse Aviation for the EA-500 VLJ’s new Avio NG avionics system. Reflecting on a “tough year” at IS&S, company officials last month said they were hopeful that the Avio NG cockpit would be delivering to customers soon. An ongoing software development delay quashed any hopes of the Exton, Pa. company receiving payments from Eclipse last year, resulting in revenue targets falling short of analyst expectations.

“The shortfall in revenue was essentially due to a delay in achieving software certification on the Eclipse 500 flat-panel display system,” IS&S CFO James Reilly told analysts during a conference call on December 6. “As a result, we were unable to recognize any Eclipse production hardware revenue in the quarter.” Besides fitting Avio NG in all new production aircraft, Eclipse will retrofit the system to some 100 airplanes originally equipped with Avidyne avionics.