The Supreme Court refused on Monday to take sides in a long-running billion-dollar dispute between two defense contractors and the government over a cancelled contract for a Navy plane.
The high court unanimously threw out court decisions that would have helped both the federal government and Boeing Co. and General Dynamics, the companies that were supposed to build 850 A-12 Avenger attack planes for the military.
"Neither side will be entirely happy with the resolution," said Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the opinion for the unanimous court.
The A-12 Avenger attack plane was canceled by the Pentagon in 1991 based on claims that the companies failed to meet the terms of the contract. The A-12, designed with stealth technology to help it evade radar, was more than 18 months behind schedule and at least $1 billion over budget when it was canceled. The government and the contractors disagreed over who was responsible for the delays and cost overruns.
For the past 20 years, the government has been demanding repayment of money spent on the plane's development and the companies have been resisting, filing a lawsuit in federal court to block the Pentagon from collecting.