Ciber Lawsuit to Remain in Hawaii

A federal bankruptcy court ordered yesterday that Ciber, Inc. v. Hawaii will be heard in Hawaii state court, despite mainland-based Ciber’s attempts to move Hawaii’s claims to Delaware.

The case began in September 2015 when Ciber sued the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) regarding a project to implement new software for the HDOT’s Highway Division. Hawaii counterclaimed, alleging that the consulting firm defrauded the State, staffed the project with incompetent consultants, and engaged in other misconduct on the project. Hawaii alleged that Ciber pulled a “bait and switch” by misrepresenting its capabilities to win a contract with HDOT, and that the fraud continued once Ciber had the contract.

First Deputy Attorney General Russell Suzuki said, “Keeping the case in Hawaii is a victory for the state and for common sense. The witnesses are here and the fraud occurred here. Litigating in Delaware would have been illogical and only served to disadvantage the State.”

This is the latest court loss for Ciber. In February 2016, the state circuit court rejected Ciber’s attempts to dismiss many of HDOT’s claims. If Ciber had succeeded in its attempts to transfer the case to Delaware, Hawaii would have been forced to litigate in court thousands of miles away at great expense. With yesterday’s order, while Ciber’s bankruptcy will remain in federal court, Hawaii’s underlying fraud claims against Ciber will be tried in Hawaii state circuit court.

A copy of the order is attached.

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