Advanced Television

SES vs Intelsat 50/50 claim gets to court

February 1, 2022

February 2nd will see Intelsat’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy court hear the final pre-trial Motions and applications in the action whereby SES is seeking a 50/50 division of the FCC’s C-band incentive payments.

Top of the list is the SES expedited hearing Motion to exclude the testimony of a proposed Intelsat expert witness (James Murray) who was expected to supply evidence which would limit or reduce the SES claim for damages.

If the SES Motion is refused then SES is asking that the court defers Mr Murray’s testimony “until after the [full] claim trial is complete, and afford SES an opportunity to depose Mr Murray and to offer its own expert.”

The basis for the SES complaint is that Intelsat is ignoring the pre-trial agreed timetable and orders and is thus very late in entering Murray into the process.

SES argues that both sets of litigants had followed the court-imposed timetable. It seems there is a way-out for Intelsat in that the court could accept there is “good cause” for the late entry of this witness. SES says: “Intelsat has offered no valid justification for failing to timely identify Mr Murray as a claim-trial witness, and SES will be prejudiced by his belated addition. The exclusion of Mr Murray’s testimony is therefore warranted.”

Intelsat has issued a counter-Motion to the court. Intelsat’s lawyers, in a 2-page objection, states bluntly: “If SES’s motions are granted, however, [Intelsat will] object to all testimony offered by SES that was gathered during the confirmation phase of this case […] including the testimony of Ed Kangas, John Diercksen, Michael DeMarco, and Gen. Ellen Palikowski.”

Both parties have also listed to the court their objections to various testimony and exhibited documents/emails and so forth.

Intelsat’s list runs to 109 pages and covers some 816 Exhibits. The SES list covers some 94 pages, although with far fewer objections.

The full trial is scheduled to open on February 7th.

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