The Wall Street Journal is reporting that ADA-ES Inc. has been hit with a $37.9 million arbitration award in a case brought by Norit NV. The arbitration panel found ADA breached a non-solicitation provision of a market development agreement with Norit and, in pari delicto with former Norit employees John Rectenwald and Steve Young, misappropriated certain trade secrets. The panel also ordered ADA to pay Norit a royalty on all activated carbon sales (10.5% for three years, and 7.0% for a further five years).
Arbitration awards in trade secrets cases are relatively rare. While ADA-ES Inc. may be considering its options, it is certainly difficult to overturn an arbitration award.