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Crane Story Left Details Hanging

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In ENR's June 6 article “Calif. Jury Dismisses Crane School's Suit Against NCCCO,” two previous lawsuits between the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) and California Crane School (CCS) owner John Nypl are described incorrectly.

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The description of a first suit relates instead to a second lawsuit, while the description of a second suit relates to the early stages of a third, separate Sonora, Calif., case that was just decided by a jury. The actual first lawsuit is not described at all in the article.

In the first suit, NCCCO asserted that Mr. Nypl paid an examiner to obtain copies of questions from NCCCO's confidential written examinations and that CCS used the confidential information in its test preparation materials. As a result, NCCCO filed suit in 2005 with legal claims including copyright infringement, unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets. A permanent injunction against Mr. Nypl and CCS was entered in federal court.

In the second suit, filed in 2008, the same federal judge from the first suit found that Mr. Nypl and CCS breached the previous settlement agreement and violated the stipulated permanent injunction. Among other things, the judge ordered them to pay nearly $300,000 to NCCCO as a penalty for their contempt of court, and the judge entered a final judgment that NCCCO was the prevailing party. So far, Mr. Nypl and CCS have refused to pay that penalty and are appealing the judgment.

Finally, Nypl's assertion in the story that IAI (NCCCO's proctor) books $10 million a year grading our exams is inaccurate and unsupportable. The actual figure is many times less.

Graham Brent

Executive Director

National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators Fairfax, Va.

Merit Shop Contractor Lauds Training Program

As a longtime supporter of merit shop principles and ideals, I believe Mr. Uremovich hit the nail on the head (ENR 5/23 p. 6). My industry was traditionally heavily unionized. Our National Association of Elevator Contractors, which is made up of approximately 50% merit shop and 50% union shop elevator contractors, developed and now provides a very comprehensive four-year, 8,000-hour apprenticeship and training program that has produced many qualified and certified elevator technicians.

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