Liebherr USA has agreed to withdraw its filed lawsuit against its six former employees for allegedly stealing design documents used to manufacture mining trucks. .
In March, the company claimed that the employees of its Newport News production plant conspired with companies in China and sold the information to copy its products.
The lawsuit was filed in 2013 with Norfolk law firm Willcox & Savage, alleging the theft of trade secrets from a manufacturing facility in the US.
The company’s attorneys told Newport News Circuit Court judge Timothy Fisher its plans to ‘nonsuit’ the case against most defendants.
The legal mechanism will allow the claims to be dropped until further notice.
A hearing will take place on 1 June for the final wording of the nonsuit order under which Liebherr will have six months to refile the lawsuit against the remaining defendants, Daily Press reported.
If the case is not refiled on time, it will be dismissed.
The 29ft tall mining trucks built by Liebherr at a Newport News manufacturing plant have the capacity to carry 400t.
Liebherr also sued a Detroit engineering firm for assisting Chinese companies with designs and Chinese manufacturing partnerships that imitated its 400t diesel truck.
The company claimed that workers stole the documents by downloading files from their computers to external devices.
Liebherr asked for compensatory damages of $40m, which includes $350,000 in punitive damages from each defendant, in the lawsuit.
Image: Liebherr’s diesel-electric powered Liebherr T282 B dumper / dump truck / mining truck. Photo: courtesy of René Engel.