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Disney wants Epcot lawsuit dismissed

Orlando Sentinel

Original Article »

November 20, 2007

The Walt Disney Co. asked a judge to throw out a Pennsylvania company's lawsuit about the technology behind its Mission: Space ride, saying there's no evidence of wrongdoing.

Environmental Tectonics Corp. sued in 2005 claiming Disney disclosed confidential information about the ride and falsely took credit for its development. The company, hired by Disney to design the ride, hasn't shown any evidence that it has been harmed, Disney attorney Laurence Shiekman said at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

"I think it would be a complete waste of judicial resources and time to permit this case to go to trial," Shiekman said Monday during the hearing.

Disney contracted with Environmental Tectonics, based in Southampton, Pa., in 1998 to design the ride at Epcot at Walt Disney World. Environmental Tectonics, which makes aircrew training systems, designed a ride with gondolas on rotating arms, using its flight-simulator technology. The company claims Disney disclosed its arm design to others, including competitors, without permission.

Environmental Tectonics was unable to complete the project on budget or on time, forcing Disney to take over and negotiate a new deal in November 2001, Shiekman said. Nothing Disney later sent to about 20 subcontractors had been identified by Environmental Tectonics as confidential, Shiekman said.

"After Nov. 15, Disney took over from ETC the responsibility of finishing the ride. ETC knew that," Shiekman said. "ETC never did anything to try to stop it. They never did anything that someone who's being harmed would have done."

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