BOEING ACCUSED OF STEALING AND IMPROPERLY IMPLEMENTING PROPRIETARY TECH, CAUSING LEAKS ABOARD INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
Federal lawsuit details Boeing’s years-long fraud and subsequent cover-up, putting astronauts’ lives at risk in order to generate billions in company profits
SEATTLE, WA – An intellectual property lawsuit filed today against The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) accuses the aviation giant of brazenly stealing and misusing proprietary IP, causing critical safety flaws in several aerospace and aviation products, including leaks aboard the International Space Station (ISS), and putting countless lives at risk.
The case is brought by Wilson Aerospace, a Colorado-based design and manufacturing company that provides tools, components and solutions for NASA projects including the ISS, the Hubble Space Telescope, Stanford’s Gravity Probe B, and various Space Shuttle missions. Filed in United States District Court in Washington, the complaint details the latest example of an alarming pattern of behavior by Boeing, which has previously been accused of stealing the innovations and intellectual property of its competitors and its suppliers.
“Boeing has not only stolen our intellectual property and damaged our company’s reputation but has used the technology incorrectly and at the expense of astronauts’ safety, which is beyond despicable,” said Dr. David Wilson, Jr, President and Founder of Wilson Aerospace. “I hope that this lawsuit will put a stop to Boeing’s repeated practice of prioritizing its own profits over safety.”
In 2014, Boeing’s Space Launch System (SLS) project had faced repeated and ongoing delays, resulting in substantial cost overruns due to Boeing’s inability to find a way to safely attach engines with the precise amount of torque to the rocket. Dangerously close to losing billions of dollars in future NASA contracts, Boeing sought out the expertise of Wilson Aerospace. Wilson had a solution to Boeing's ongoing problem by providing designs for its tools protected under confidentiality agreements that allowed for the safe and efficient installation of the engines onto the SLS rocket.
Once Boeing obtained Wilson’s proprietary information, it abruptly terminated Wilson’s work on the SLS project. According to the Complaint, Boeing then produced versions of Wilson’s tools, which were critically deficient in quality and performance. Use of these mismatched tools are believed to have caused or contributed to the dangerous leaks which continually delayed the SLS launch.
Despite the fact that the SLS project experienced significant delays, Boeing had still been paid billions of dollars in revenue from its work on the SLS project, much of which Boeing would not have received without gaining access to and then stealing Wilson’s intellectual property.
“Boeing’s brazen theft is illustrative of a large corporation leveraging its unchecked power to squash out a small family-owned and operated business. The Wilsons have a storied history in aviation and Boeing once again has shown that they will act deceptively to take advantage of smaller suppliers, like Wilson, by stealing and infringing on sensitive intellectual property. Boeing’s choices have endangered astronauts, all in the name of a larger bottom line,” said Peter J. Flowers, Partner at Meyers & Flowers.
“The intentional, malicious misappropriation of the Wilson’s intellectual property shows that Boeing was willing to put the promise of billions of dollars in revenues from federal contracts over its integrity, a trend that we have continued to see over the last several decades. Along with shamelessly stealing Wilson’s product innovations and then botching the installation of the technology at the expense of astronauts’ safety, Boeing has blamed Wilson for Boeing’s own design failures in public forums, causing irreparable reputational damage and future earnings loss to Wilson,” said Lance Astrella, Principal at Astrella Law.
After having scapegoated Wilson for Boeing’s design failures, Boeing orchestrated a coordinated cover-up campaign, expunging all records showing any relationship between Boeing and Wilson, despite documentation and witnesses who can easily and readily verify that Boeing and Wilson had a historical working relationship on a variety of projects other than the SLS engine installation.
The IP theft of Wilson’s proprietary technology follows a lengthy history of Boeing’s corporate wrongdoing and coordinated victimization of competitors and smaller suppliers. In 2006, the United States Department of Justice announced a record $615 million settlement to resolve criminal and civil allegations that Boeing improperly used competitors’ information to procure contracts for launch services worth billions of dollars from the Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Boeing’s repeated malfeasance not only came at the expense of Wilson Aerospace, but at the safety of astronauts, while they unjustly pocketed millions.
Wilson Aerospace is represented by Kenneth R. Friedman (Friedman Rubin PLLP), Mel C. Orchard, III and Emily S. Madden (The Spence Law Firm), Peter J. Flowers and Christopher J. Warmbold (Meyers & Flowers, LLC), Lance Astrella (Astrella Law, P.C.), and Rex Sharp (Sharp Law LLP).
The name of the case is Wilson Aerospace LLC, vs The Boeing Company, Inc. and has been filed in the U.S. District Court Western District of Washington.
About Wilson Aerospace
A design and engineering company specializing in providing innovative mechanical technology to meet the stringent demands of many critical applications including aircraft manufacturing, space exploration, nuclear power plants, and high-speed robotic assembly systems used in automotive manufacturing. Founder and President, Dr. David Wilson Jr., is a leader in developing cutting edge technology, a commercial pilot and retired instrument flight instructor. An example of Wilson Aerospace’s technology is on display at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. Visit www.wilsonaerospace.com.
About Meyers & Flowers
Led by Illinois Top 100 Super Lawyer and former President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Peter J. Flowers, the Meyers & Flowers’ team of experienced trial attorneys routinely take on large challenges and succeed. For more than two decades, the firm has represented clients both locally in Chicago and nationally in a full spectrum of cases involving catastrophic personal injuries, medical malpractice, workplace injuries and wrongful death.
About Astrella Law
Astrella Law, based in Denver, Colorado, specializes in complex litigation including class actions.
About Sharp Law LLP
Sharp Law, LLP is a nationally known plaintiff’s complex litigation and class action firm that successfully takes on Fortune 500 companies. Sharp Law has offices in Kansas City and Denver.
About The Spence Law Firm
The Spence Law Firm is dedicated to fighting for justice on the behalf of ordinary people. The firm has offices throughout Wyoming and in New Mexico, but their experienced attorneys travel throughout the country to assist injured victims wherever justice is needed.