An El Segundo-based company steered away funds intended to benefit another firm seeking to commercialize an X-ray technology with the Air Force in 2013, an attorney for the plaintiff told a jury Friday, but a defense lawyer denied the allegation and said his clients are the ones owed money.

Lawyers Robyn Crowther, representing plaintiff Positron Systems Inc., and Vineet Bhatia, on behalf of Wyle Laboratories Inc., addressed a Los Angeles Superior Court jury hearing trial of Positron’s lawsuit, which alleges breach of contract, fraud, and misappropriation of trade secrets.

Crowther also said that the parties had a joint venture and that Wyle put its interests ahead of those of Positron’s.

“Wyle acted with full knowledge of its conduct and the effect it would have on Positron,” Crowther argued. “Wyle held all the cards.”

Bue Bhatia denied that the two had a joint venture and said that without such an agreement, Wyle cannot be held accountable for allegedly acting in its own best interests at the expense of Positron.

“The suggestion that Wyle is at fault for Positron’s financial condition is not supported by the evidence,” Bhatia said.

Positron owes Wyle $35,725 for work it performed, Bhatia said.

“We sent this matter to collections and that’s probably where it would have stayed until this lawsuit was filed,” Bhatia said.

Positron sued Wyle in September 2015, seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Positron performs work in non-destructive testing, a group of analysis techniques used in the science and technology industry to evaluate the properties of a material, component or system without causing damage. Wyle also does some of the same work and is a government contractor with expertise in engineering, scientific and technical services.

Together with Vanderbilt University, Boise, Idaho-based Positron pursued the development of an X-ray technique for detecting hidden corrosion in aluminum, according to Positron’s court papers. Positron subcontracted some of that work to Wyle, the plaintiff’s court papers state.

Positron and Wyle sought funding from the U.S. military to build a prototype that used the X-ray technology and the Air Force eventually awarded Wyle a contract to build the prototype, Positron’s court papers state.

The Air Force had an immediate need for aluminum corrosion detection in the bomb-bay area of the B-52 bomber, according to Positron’s court papers.

However, the Air Force eventually issued a “stop-work” order on the project in 2013, after which the prototype was never completed and the technology never commercialized, Positron’s court papers state.

Positron alleges Wyle misled them and took Positron’s opportunities to commercialize the X-ray technology.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.