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Humvee maker, defense giant BAE wrangle over $277M judgment

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A dispute over the true cost of Humvee body armor rushed to the battlefield in the deadliest days of the Iraq war has resulted in a court battle that includes suggestions that one of the world’s top defense contractors may have serious business problems as it argues against posting full security for a $277 million judgment.

British defense contractor BAE Systems Inc. has asked the Indiana Court of Appeals to stay execution of the judgment pending appeal. Mishawaka-based Humvee maker AM General LLC argues it’s entitled to the judgment and opposes BAE’s motion.

BAE argues in court filings this month that a ruling in St. Joseph Superior Court in November ordering it to post an appeal bond or irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of $290 million “effectively holds the bond cap statute unconstitutional.”

BAE argued it should only have to provide security in the amount of $25 million under I.C. 34-49-5-3, which BAE argues caps appeal bonds at that amount.

BAE supplied armor kits that could be installed on AM General’s Humvees. St. Joseph Superior Judge Michael Scopelitis in April ordered BAE to pay $277,939,519 to AM General, ruling BAE and predecessor companies were in breach of contract and violated most-favored customer clauses by overcharging for armor kits that troops used in the field to retrofit Humvees.

BAE appealed in October and earlier this month filed a motion to stay execution of judgment pending appeal.

“The trial court erroneously concluded that BAE Systems’ alternate form of security … was not sufficient,” the company’s brief says.

“There is simply no evidence that BAE Systems itself, or its parent company, present any risk of not complying with any final judgment in this case,” the company argues. Its filings say there is “virtually no chance” BAE will not satisfy a final judgment.

AM General argued in reply that BAE misreads the appeals bond statute, which allows discretion on when the cap may not apply, and that in any event, Trial Rule 62(D) governs a request to stay the trial court order.

“AM General received its judgment on April 2, 2013, and BAE has managed to avoid posting full security against the judgment as required by Trial Rule 62(D) for more than 37 weeks,” the Humvee maker argues. “AM General is entitled to protection of its very large judgment without further delay.”

“The trial court considered substantial evidence attached to AM General’s opposition brief about the state of BAE’s finances and serious problems facing its business,” AM General argues in its pleadings.

“No BAE officer or employee with knowledge affirmed the representations about the company’s financial condition,” according to AM General’s filing.

BAE says it recorded international sales of more than $27 billion in 2012, and its parent company, BAE Systems PLC, is rated as the world’s second-largest defense contractor, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

No arguments before the Court of Appeals have been scheduled in the case.

 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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