Lawsuit Charges L-3 Communications with Theft of Coal-Dust-Reducing Technology

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Seeking damages of more than $7 million annually from the actions of L-3 Communications and Coleman Aerospace

Allen Murphy Law - Orlando, FL

A lawsuit filed recently in Federal Court in Orlando may remind many of last year’s Hollywood blockbuster detailing the alleged backstabbing amongst Harvard partners that led to the creation of the world’s largest social networking site.

The lawsuit was filed in the Middle District Federal Court in Florida by trial attorneys Riley Allen and Scott Murphy, on behalf of Marcus Kostolich and Kostolich Group, Inc (Kostolich et al v. L-3 Communications Corporation, Case No. 6:11-CV-00080-PCF-DAB). Kostolich is well known in the railroad, transportation and logistics industries, as well as for business development and business venture promotion throughout the world.

Though this case involves the slightly less-publicized world of coal transport, the railroad industry, and a huge defense contractor, it does center on environmental and life-saving technology meant to reduce the effects of coal dust.

Replace the Winklevoss twins’ idea of creating a social network with Marcus Kostolich’s concept of reducing coal dust, and Mark Zuckerberg’s alleged theft of the idea and shafting of his partners with multinational defense contractor, L-3 Communications, and you have the basis for this case.

Coal dust is an OSHA-listed substance with the potential to cause spontaneous combustion and explosions, black lung disease, bronchitis, emphysema and other lung damage. Kostolich invented a way to significantly reduce the amount of coal that is lost and introduced into the surrounding environment during transport.    

With the U.S producing over 1 billion short tons of coal per year, the effort to ensure the safety of the workers and communities surrounding its mining and transportation is vital, and potentially very profitable.

According to the Federal Complaint, Kostolich and his company created the patentable technology to reduce coal dust during transport. Only after entering into a partnership agreement with L-3 and its Coleman Aerospace subdivision in 2008 did he share that technology under the impression it would be cultivated to fruition.

Instead, the suit alleges, L-3 and Coleman, recognizing the massive profit opportunities for such technology, undertook a plan over the next two years to cut Kostolich out of the arrangement, take his concept, and sell it to an unsuspecting third party.

Specifically, the Federal Complaint alleges that L-3/Coleman committed breach of contract, fraud in the inducement, violation of the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act, misappropriation (theft) of proprietary and confidential information, misappropriation and infringement of patent rights, conversion, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.

The Complaint recites L3's Mission Statement: "L-3 represented to Kostolich that the 'cornerstone' of its operating philosophy is the 'integrity in how we conduct ourselves....We believe firmly in doing the right thing.” It also alleges that Coleman claimed to follow a "Code of Conduct," with the intent to "Be honest, ethical, and fair in everything we do."

To this, attorney Riley Allen responds, "Words empty as the wind are best left unsaid."

The suit seeks damages of more than $7 million annually from the actions of L-3 and Coleman Aerospace, as well as an injunction forcing them to stop transacting business with the allegedly stolen technology.

The Florida trial firm of Allen Murphy Law is an AV Rated firm (by Lexis Nexis owned Martindale Hubbell) focusing on complex civil litigation cases involving commercial tort, injury, death, fraud and False Claims Act (whistleblower law) violations. Riley Allen has consistently been recognized as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America by Lawdragon Magazine.

For more information and updates on this case, visit Allen Murphy Law at

Contact Information:
Riley Allen, Esq.
Allen Murphy Law
429 S. Keller Rd Suite 300
Orlando, FL 32810
Toll Free: 1-800-393-8689


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