On March 23, 2006, a Kirkland & Ellis LLP trial team scored a major defense victory for Honeywell International Inc. in a civil fraud case with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. The case was tried to a jury in Polk County, Fla., hometown of the bankrupt plaintiff, after nearly seven years of complex litigation in federal and state courts in Florida, Delaware, and New York. The six-member jury returned a verdict in less than a day, finding no liability and awarding no damages.
The case arose out of the October 1997 sale of an airbag and seatbelt business by AlliedSignal (Honeywell's predecessor) to Breed Technologies for $710 million. In the weeks before it filed for bankruptcy, Breed sought to blame its financial troubles and its eventual bankruptcy on the AlliedSignal transaction. Breed filed a complaint in Florida state court against AlliedSignal in August 1999, asserting claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and fraudulent transfer by AlliedSignal in connection with the acquisition and seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages.
The Kirkland team that achieved this terrific result included Steve McCormick, Gene Assaf, Craig Primis, Dan Donovan, Zhonette Brown, Matt Papez, Mike Williams, Alicia Johnson, Christian Schultz, Chris Posteraro, Padraic Fennelly, and Jake Phillips.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a 1,100-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex litigation, dispute resolution and arbitration, intellectual property and technology, restructuring, corporate and tax matters. The Firm has offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.