Representing Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a division of the City of Los Angeles that operates the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Ontario International Airport, Morrison & Foerster won a jury verdict October 24 in San Mateo County Superior Court. The case involved a Newark-based contractor JRI Inc. that supplied firefighting vehicles to the airports. The 2006 $5.5 million contract was for four complex, heavy-duty vehicles designed to respond to catastrophic emergencies, such as plane crashes and hazardous material releases.
“Los Angeles World Airports paid JRI in good faith for vehicles that are critical for the protection of the public traveling at these airports and for the safety of first responders in the event of an emergency,” Morrison & Foerster partner Arturo González said. “What they received in return were two trucks that our clients believed were inadequate. The testimony at trial was that one of the trucks was out of service more than it was in service."
JRI produced only two of the four vehicles. LAWA terminated the contract before accepting delivery of the other two trucks because of concerns regarding delays and quality. JRI claimed that LAWA was compelled to accept each of the vehicles and that the failure to do so destroyed its business. JRI sought damages in excess of $10 million in lost profits, plus attorney’s fees and costs.
The 12-member jury unanimously found in favor of Los Angeles World Airports, finding that LAWA was not liable for breach of contract or good faith and fair dealing claims brought by JRI.
The Morrison & Foerster team representing Los Angeles World Airports includes partners Arturo González, William Tarantino, Colette Reiner Mayer and Derek Foran, and associates Elizabeth Balassone and Nicholas Roethlisberger.