Eaton Corp. to pay $147.5M to settle trade secret suits

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JACKSON, Miss. -- Eaton Corp. says it will pay Triumph Aerospace $147.5 million to settle trade secret litigation that became ensnared in judicial influence trafficking.

The companies announced the settlement Wednesday. Under the deal, Triumph will dismiss lawsuits in Mississippi and North Carolina brought by what was then Frisby Aerospace claiming Eaton hired away five engineers who stole trade secrets used to make hydraulic pumps and motors for aircraft.

Federal criminal indictments against the engineers were dismissed in 2012.

Frisby, which was based in Clemmons, North Carolina, is now part of Triumph Group, based near Philadelphia.

Eaton sued Frisby in 2004 in Mississippi state court, and a scandal ensued when it was revealed Eaton lawyers were paying former Hinds County District Attorney Ed Peters to improperly influence then-Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter.

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