Pico Products Inc., a Lake View Terrace manufacturer of cable-television equipment, announced that it had settled all litigation with Bernard K. Hitchcock, its former president who sued the company twice after being fired two years ago.
Under terms of the settlement, Pico paid Hitchcock $250,000 for emotional suffering and distress. While denying any liability, Chairman Everett T. Keech said the company settled to avoid the continuing expense of two trials and because of “the unlikely prospect of recovering any claims if we did win.”
Hitchcock was relieved as president and vice chairman in May, 1991, after a dispute over management philosophy with the board of directors. Six months later, he sued Pico in Los Angeles Superior Court for alleged breach of contract, fraud and wrongful termination, claiming more than $2 million in damages.
In May, 1992, Hitchcock filed a federal lawsuit, alleging that Pico had infringed his patent by using its technology to make a signal-scrambling product. As part of the settlement, he granted Pico a perpetual, royalty-free license for the patent.
In its fiscal year that ended July 31, 1992, Pico Products lost $67,000 on $19.5 million in sales, compared to a year-earlier loss of $1.3 million on sales of $18.2 million.