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Roberts Space Industries ®






June 3rd 2015

KAIZEN: The Nova Dilemma

Nova Dilemma


Aaron Schere here to welcome you to another installment of Kaizen, your guide through the jump point to financial solvency. We’ve got a good one for you today. Fran Mirotic is here to talk about the lawsuit that she just filed against Nova Pyrotechnica, but before being graced by her presence, let’s focus a little attention on two industry heavyweights who are also having issues. This is Market Breakdown.

Past performance is not indicative of future results. Neither Schere, Kaizen nor Farnes Media Partners guarantees any specific outcome or profit. Before acting on information in this program, you should strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.

First, let’s check in with Origin Jumpworks. Following recent Congressional hearings, Origin and the Goldfinch data breach are back on the minds of investors. Last quarter’s lackluster numbers from Origin obviously rattled a few cages as their stock price has sagged. Investors seem worried about stagnant ship sales combined with the company’s costly upgrades to their data protection and security infrastructure.

Next, rumors are swirling of internal conflict among Hurston Dynamics top executives over what do to about sluggish antimatter production at their facilities. Even a small slip in output could provide a notable drag on Hurston’s bottom line, and force them to purchase the expensive precursor from third parties to maintain their current antimatter warhead production level.

The problem could be even worse for Hurston, if rumors of them developing a new line of antimatter-based weapons are true. If that’s the case, increased raw material costs could severely stymie R&D. Again, that is only speculation, but something to consider when forecasting the company’s future earning potential. Throw in the fact that Hurston has continually delayed the release of their latest generation of antimatter reactors due to technical reasons, and it paints a picture of a division in turmoil. How much of that blowback affects the wider company is still to be seen.

Another company with a problem on its hands is Nova Pyrotechnica. Earlier today Fran Mirotic, a lawyer representing the family of Xander Castillo, filed a lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit claims that Nova is negligent in the death of Citizen Castillo. To explain the reasoning behind this, I’d like to welcome Fran Mirotic to the show.

Fran Mirotic: Pleasure to be here.

That’s a pretty serious accusation. I haven’t yet had a chance to read the lawsuit, as I’m sure is the same for most of the audience. So, please, illuminate us as to what’s at the heart of these allegations.

Fran Mirotic: Xander Castillo didn’t have to die, and neither did the dozens of other Citizens and civilians whose tragic stories appear in the pages of this lawsuit. Nova Pyrotechnica knows that its missiles are unsafe, yet is doing nothing about it. That’s willful negligence and what ultimately makes Nova responsible for what happened to the young Mr. Castillo.

That’s an interesting and emotional argument, Ms. Mirotic, but from my understanding Nova Pyrotechnica makes over a billion missiles during a standard year. As tragic as those stories may be, it’s also an unfortunate yet inevitable part of the missile business.

Fran Mirotic: That may be, but there are multiple reports cited in the lawsuit that show, on average, missiles made by Nova Pyrotechnica malfunction more frequently than others. That’s a lethal combination when they are packed with such large payloads. This company is selling military grade missiles to the public, but skimping on safety. As a wildly profitable company, Nova’s priority should be on keeping its customers alive, not lining shareholders’ pockets.

Nova is selling a product that makes people feel safe in a dark and dangerous universe. If its missiles were so problematic, why do you only reference a few dozen similar cases in the lawsuit? Why not hundreds … or even thousands? I understand that you’re attempting to establish a pattern of negligence but, at these numbers, it’s statistically insignificant.

Fran Mirotic: Want me to be honest with you?

You’re a lawyer, why wouldn’t you be?

Fran Mirotic: If a Nova missile malfunctions and explodes on a ship flying solo through space, we won’t know about it. If pilots die due to issues with their Nova missiles, but their families and friends lack the means to pursue justice, we don’t hear about it. A lot of Citizens and civilians who have had problems with Nova missiles aren’t around to share their stories. That’s why, in conjunction with this lawsuit, the Castillo family will be filing a complaint with the Weapons, Munitions and Firearms Bureau. The UEE must tighten the limits on the amount of cannonade allowed in missiles made for public use. There’s no reason people need this much explosive to defend themselves. It’s nothing more than a marketing ploy with deadly consequences.

Didn’t the Armistice Initiative already attempt this?

Fran Mirotic: The Armistice Initiative wanted ships to enable certain safety protocols while in secure systems. We want the WMF to regulate the size of payloads being sold to the public.

We don’t need more regulation from the WMF. It’ll only hurt a thriving business. There’s more than enough information on Nova and its products available to consumers, and you know what? Consumers love them.

Fran Mirotic: Sometimes what people want and what’s good for them aren’t the same. There’s a very clear divide between the public’s perception of Nova missiles and the reality of Nova missiles.

Let’s shift gears for a second. From what I understand, the Castillo family is a prominent player in the Lo business community. Now, it’s my time to be honest: I like how the Castillo family does business. Very smart and shrewd operators. But there are some, in the darkest depths of space, claiming that a payout, not a date in court, is what the family really wants.

Fran Mirotic: This is about justice. This is about corporate responsibility. This is about defending the public from unnecessarily dangerous missiles. Finally, this is about letting the universe know that the Castillo family has authorized me to pursue a class action lawsuit against Nova Pyrotechnica. If you’ve lost a loved one due to Nova’s negligence, we want to hear your story.

That was Fran Mirotic. She’s the lawyer for the Castillo family, who just sued Nova Pyrotechnica over the death of their son. We need to take a quick break and pay our bills. When we come back, I’ll talk to Alice Cole about how this lawsuit might affect Nova’s bottom line. So stay tuned for that and more on Kaizen.


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