Honeywell Settles Litton Lawsuit for $440 Million News Feed

Date: 2001-2005

Nathan Associates gave testimony on antitrust violations in both damage trials

Honeywell International recently agreed to pay Northrop Grumman Corporation $440 million, ending 11 years of litigation. In the original lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in 1990, Litton Systems (acquired by Northrop Grumman in 2001) contended that Honeywell used unfair business practices to dominate the aircraft navigational systems market. At the time, Litton and Honeywell were the only suppliers of ring-laser gyroscopes—technology that provides aircraft navigational systems essential information about an airplane's movements. The technology is used on all modern commercial aircraft.

Litton claimed not only monopolization by Honeywell, but also violation of its patent rights. Two trials were held. In the first trial, Nathan Associates' president, Dr. John Beyer, testified on behalf of Litton, assessing the damages that resulted from Honeywell's monopolization of the ring-laser gyroscope technology market. The jury awarded Litton $234 million in damages. The court later set aside the damages and ordered a new damage trial. Testifying in the second trial, Dr. Beyer assessed the impact of Honeywell's anticompetitive conduct on commercial aircraft manufacturers and its effect on Litton. The jury was again persuaded by Dr. Beyer's testimony and awarded Litton $250 million in damages.

After a series of appeals over the past three years, the companies were again preparing to do battle in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco when Honeywell settled the lawsuit in December.

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