Cases & Deals

Lycoming Engines wins class decertification motion

Clients Lycoming Engines

Jones Day represented Lycoming Engines in litigation brought by owners of general aviation aircraft in California who were affected by a service bulletin calling for retirement of the crankshafts in certain aircraft engines manufactured by Lycoming. Plaintiffs claimed that they were entitled to diminution in value of their aircraft and/or other costs associated with the replacement of the crankshafts. None of the subject crankshafts had malfunctioned and a Federal Aviation Administration Airworthiness Directive called for replacement of the crankshafts at a time when the owners would otherwise be performing, and paying for, scheduled engine overhauls. Lycoming argued that plaintiffs were not damaged because Lycoming provides a replacement crankshaft at no additional cost with a Lycoming factory overhaul. The Court certified the class on September 11, 2007, for causes of action based on California's Unfair Competition Law and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

At the close of discovery, Lycoming moved for summary judgment or, in the alternative, for decertification of the class, based on the lack of evidence necessary for plaintiffs to establish class-wide damages. Lycoming argued that without the requisite expert testimony on the claimed diminution in value and other class-wide costs, plaintiffs would be forced to call individual class members to prove damages, making the trial unmanageable and class treatment inappropriate. On March 28, 2008, the Court granted Lycoming's motion and decertified the class. The motion was argued by Richard J. Bedell, Jr. of the Cleveland office. Rich was assisted on the briefing by Pearson N. Bownas, Erin L. Dickinson, and Elizabeth C. Radigan.

Romeo Bravo, Inc. et al. v. Lycoming Engines, No. 06-1947 (E.D. Ca.)