Saturday, April 04, 2009

It's my money and I want it now!

Statesman Journal April 4, 2009 -- Portland Tribune October 15, 2008

The State of Oregon has settled a suit with truck manufacturer Freightliner after a German truck manufacturer, MAN AG was awarded more than $850 million by a 12 man jury. In addition Freightliner pay a pre-existing judgment, the jury awarded additional punitive damages of 350 million, including $70 million in damages payable by Freightliner LLC and $280 million payable by DaimlerChrysler North America holding group.

For the past two years, the state of Oregon has continued to pursue a $210 million legal claim against Freightliner's parent company, the Daimler trucks North America despite concerns that the suit may force a manufacturer out of town. [Which is exactly what happened]
under Oregon law, the state is ENTITLED to 60% of punitive damage awards to help crime victims. Before this day could collect the money, however, Freightliner settled the case. Part of the settlement puts aside the punitive damages. {Portland Tribune}
Freightliner General Counsel and Secretary Paul Hurd expressed that "they are deeply disappointed that Oregon would sue us while other states are courting us... Oregon poisoned the well with the suit. They poured iodine in the water." Hurd also stated that "the state is not entitled to any money because no punitive damages were ever paid... they were dismissed in the settlement."

Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers argued in court that the state did not agree to the settlement. Freightliner appealed the state's challenge to the Oregon Supreme Court which upheld the decision.

In the settlement, the state of Oregon will be getting $150,000 for a crime victims fund and a promise of $300,000 if the company moves its truck headquarters from Portland.


The Oregonian
In a somewhat unrelated story, a Norwegian car manufacturer is considering Oregon for a electric-car manufacturing plant which may employ possibly 900 workers. The site that the makers of electric cars have been examining, is the former Freightliner plant.

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