Joka Industries Inc., a small Bohemia-based manufacturer of components for the aerospace industry, was awarded $1.3 million in an out of state court after suing Primus International Inc., a multinational manufacturer and supplier of aerospace parts based in the Seattle area.
The Long Island company alleged that a long-term contract it had with Primus to manufacture handles for doors Primus was making for Boeing 737s was terminated wrongfully. Primus is owned by Portland-based PCC Aerostructures. Joka won the award earlier this month.
An attorney for Primus could not be reached for comment.
Joka, which entered a seven-year contract in 2011, said in its lawsuit that the contract was ended in early 2013 when the Washington company started making the component in-house.
Joka originally filed suit in New York’s Eastern District in late 2013, before refiling in King County Superior Court in Seattle in 2014. The $1.3 million payout covers the profits Joka would have received from the work.
“It was more of a David versus Goliath story,” Joka owner Raj Chhabra said Tuesday. “We got our day in the court, we saw justice and it was worth it.”
Joka, which was founded in 1968, is an example of “the types of businesses we want on Long Island, so I think it’s an important victory for Long Island,” said E. Christopher Murray, senior litigation partner at Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, which filed the suit on behalf of Joka.
Murray, who was the lead attorney for the lawsuit, said that small aerospace manufacturers such as his client “have to deal with the large entities in the industry, and I think it’s important that they don’t have to be pushed around.”