Liebherr USA has dropped most of a major lawsuit accusing former workers at its Newport News, Va., plant of conspiring with Chinese companies to rip off Liebherr truck designs, the Daily Press reports.
Liebherr’s attorneys said they will “nonsuit” the case against most of defendants, which allows the claims to be resurrected if the case is refiled within six months.
In the 2010 lawsuit, Liebherr Mining & Construction Equipment accused six former workers at the Newport News factory of conspiring to steal thousands of sensitive documents from the plant.
Liebherr's suit also accused a Detroit engineering firm, Detroit Heavy Truck Engineering, of imitating a Liebherr diesel truck with a 400-ton payload.
The complaint asserts that the documents — from truck designs to vendor information to factory layouts — allowed Chinese firms to build the trucks "in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost and with a fraction of the manpower as could be accomplished by lawful means."