Chief Judge Christopher Conner in the Middle District of Pennsylvania on March 6, 2018 awarded KSG client Advanced Fluid Systems (AFS) $3.1 million in a theft of trade secrets case, following a bench trial in September 2018. AFS is a fluid hydraulic engineering firm in York, PA. The defendants are a former AFS engineer (Kevin Huber); a former AFS sales manager (Thomas Aufiero) and a competing engineering firm in North Carolina (Livingston & Haven) and its President (Clifton Vann IV). AFS claimed—and Chief Judge Conner found—that defendants had unlawfully acquired AFS’ trade secrets and used them to deprive AFS of two contracts for a hydraulic system used to launch the Antares rocket on the NASA facility in Virginia. The rockets supply the International Space Station. The Court found that all defendants had misappropriated AFS’ trade secrets, that Huber had breached his fiduciary duty to AFS, and that Livingston & Haven and Vann had aided and abetted that breach. The Court awarded AFS $1.1 million in compensatory lost profits jointly and severally against all defendants, plus $1 million in punitive damages jointly and severally for the fiduciary duty claims against Huber, Livingston & Haven and Vann, and an additional $1 million in exemplary damages against Huber for willful and malicious trade secret misappropriation.
AFS was represented by Robert J. LaRocca of Kohn Swift & Graf PC. and David G. Concannon of the Law Offices of David G. Concannon LLC.
The case is Advanced Fluid Systems Inc. v. Huber et al., case number 1:13-cv-03087, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
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