09/20/2013 06:36 EDT | Updated 11/20/2013 05:12 EST

Webtech to appeal Brazilian court's surprise ruling in favour of distributor

VANCOUVER - Webtech Wireless Inc. (TSX:WEW) says a lingering legal dispute with a former Brazilian distributor has taken an unexpected turn for the worse.

The Vancouver-based telematics company says a lower court in Brazil has found it liable for damages to Crown Telecom due to improper contractual interference.

Webtech says it was unaware, until recently, that the court was continuing to consider the case and it plans to appeal.

Crown has sought about $50 million but the court hasn't determined damages.

A 2008 decision against Webtech, which provides vehicle location services, was overturned upon appeal and sent back to the lower court.

Webtech says it had received a "irrovocable and complete release" from litigation by Crown, which has begun bankruptcy proceedings, but the court's latest ruling doesn't refer to the release.

"The company is represented in the lawsuit by Brazilian legal counsel and the company believed and continues to believe that the lawsuit is without merit and will take immediate steps to appeal and set aside the judgment," the company said Friday in a statement.