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COURT TO ENTER JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF J.D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES IN LAWSUIT VS. AUTOPACIFIC GROUP AND TWO FORMER EMPLOYEES

 COURT TO ENTER JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF J.D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES
 IN LAWSUIT VS. AUTOPACIFIC GROUP AND TWO FORMER EMPLOYEES
 AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- J.D. Power and Associates' lawsuit against AutoPacific Group and two former employees was settled on terms acceptable to all parties on Oct. 1. Today's entry of judgment in favor of J.D. Power and Associates by the California Court was lodged and will be entered shortly, preventing a trial scheduled for late October.
 The terms of the settlement agreement will remain confidential but the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, will enter judgment in favor of J.D. Power and Associates against the defendants, AutoPacific Group Inc., Christopher W. Cedergren and Steven L. Morrison. The defendants, by order of the court, will be permanently enjoined from disclosing or using any proprietary information contained in the documents and computer diskettes removed from the offices of J.D. Power and Associates by Cedergren and Morrison. In addition, the defendants paid J.D. Power and Associates an undisclosed sum for costs of the suit.
 "We initiated this suit reluctantly and out of necessity to protect our valuable intellectual property rights. We are happy with the settlement and court's entry of judgment in favor of J.D. Power and Associates," said J.D. Power III, president and founder of J.D. Power and Associates.
 J.D. Power and Associates filed the lawsuit Nov. 15, 1991, claiming eight separate causes of action including misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion, unfair competition, unjust enrichment and conspiracy against AutoPacific Group, Cedergren and Morrison. In addition, Cedergren and Morrison were sued for breach of their employment agreements. J.D. Power and Associates' complaint asked for a permanent injunction, return of all documents and other relief including J.D. Power and Associates' cost of the suit. Defendants' answer, filed in court last December, denied the J.D. Power and Associates claims.
 The suit included significant rulings, such as the court-granted J.D. Power and Associates' request for an expedited trial as well as a finding by the court-appointed discovery referee on Sept. 23, that there was a substantial probability that J.D. Power and Associates would prevail on its claims at trial by showing with clear and convincing evidence that defendants Cedergren and Morrison acted with fraud and malice in connection with the taking of documents and computer diskettes from J.D. Power and Associates. Defendants Cedergren and Morrison had filed a notice to appeal that finding when the case was settled.
 J.D. Power and Associates is an international marketing information firm with headquarters in Agoura Hills and offices in Torrance, Calif; Detroit; Westport, Conn. and Tokyo. The firm is best known for its marketing information and consulting in the areas of consumer opinion and customer satisfaction.
 -0- 10/6/92
 /CONTACT: J. Ferron, 818-707-4667, or Patricia Patano, 818-889-6330, both of J.D. Power and Associates/ CO: J.D. Power And Associates ST: California IN: AUT SU:


BP-KJ -- LA030 -- 7282 10/06/92 18:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 6, 1992
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