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Eaton Litigation Scorecard
You need a program to follow all the litigation spawned by Eaton Corporation's fight to punish engineers who left with company documents. Here is what was going on at press time:
Eaton v. Frisby
Dismissed: Eaton filed its original civil suit against the engineers and the company that hired them in the Circuit Court of Hinds County, First Judicial District, in Jackson in 2004; it was tossed in December 2010 because of Eaton's misconduct.
Ongoing: Eaton appealed the dismissal to the Mississippi Supreme Court. Eaton remains a counterdefendant as Frisby's counterclaims were not dismissed.
U.S. v. Case
Dismissed: The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson division, criminally charged five of the engineers for theft of trade secrets in 2006, but dropped the charges in May 2012.
Frisby Aerospace v. Eaton
Ongoing: Frisby filed this unfair competition suit in Hinds County Circuit Court in February 2011. Based on Eaton's misconduct in the original suit, it accuses Eaton of abuse of process, interfering with business contracts, malicious prosecution, deceptive trade practices, defamation, and civil conspiracy to corrupt a judge. It seeks actual and punitive damages.
Triumph Actuation Systems v. Eaton
Ongoing: Frisby (now Triumph) filed this suit in February 2011 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. It alleges that Eaton's misconduct resulted in several antitrust violations, and it seeks treble damages. Eaton has counterclaimed, essentially raising the same claims as its original suit that was dismissed in Mississippi because, Eaton argues, it failed to get due process in Mississippi.
Franklin, Plotnick & Carl Inc. Profit Sharing Plan v. Critelli
Ongoing: Eaton shareholders filed this derivative suit in February 2011 in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in Cleveland, alleging illegal conduct by Eaton officers, management, and the board in the handling of the original Mississippi suit.