Boeing Co. on Friday was slapped with $236 million in punitive damages by a Los Angeles jury in a dispute over canceled plans to build a satellite telecommunications network.
The damages came on top of at least $371 million in compensatory damages that was awarded Oct. 21 to ICO Global Communications, whose chairman is cellular phone billionaire Craig McCaw.
Boeing, whose satellite-making business in El Segundo was at the center of the dispute, said it would appeal the verdict.
"As we stated last week, Boeing believes there were fundamental flaws throughout this trial that provide significant grounds for appeal," Boeing spokeswoman Diana Ball said. "We will seek an appeal after the final judgment is filed with the court, and we expect that the appeal may well take several years to run its course."
ICO, based in Reston, Va., filed a lawsuit that accused Chicago-based Boeing of thwarting its plans to build the network, which would beam television programming and other services to mobile device users around the world.
The damage awards "validate what ICO believed all along," said Barry W. Lee, ICO's attorney. Boeing "was extremely hurtful and harmful to the company and almost destroyed ICO."
Last month, jurors found Boeing had acted with fraud and malice, clearing the way for ICO to seek punitive damages. The jury awarded $59 million against Boeing's Satellite Systems unit and $177 million against the parent company.
Also, $91.6 million in compensatory damages related to a contract to use a Boeing rocket to launch the satellites is in dispute. The judge in the case is expected to determine whether the award should be added on top of the $371 million in compensatory damages, which would bring the total awarded to ICO to $700 million.
ICO sought as much as $2 billion.