Federal judge denies motions to alter $85,600 jury award in re-manufactured engine case

By Kory Oswald | Jun 20, 2018

SAN DIEGO – A federal judge in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California recently let stand a jury decision to award plaintiffs $85,600 in a dispute involving two re-manufactured aircraft engines.

U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino in a June 7 order denied motions by plaintiffs Thomas Pigeon and TWP Consulting Inc. and defendant Western Skyways Inc., to alter the jury-awarded settlement reached in January for a breach of contract claim concerning the two re-manufactured engines.

The original court case found that the defendant was in breach of its warranty that stated Skyways total liability for damages shall “not exceed the original purchase price for the engine,” regardless of the type or cause of the damage.

The original case found the defendant did not breach its duty in the negligence claim to plaintiffs on either engine and did not fail to make disclosures with the intention to create a false impression of facts regarding the engines. The jury also found that only one of the two engines was defective, but awarded no damages for that claim.

For the misrepresentation claim, the jury found that defendant did not fail to make any disclosures with the intent of creating a false impression of the actual facts in the mind of plaintiffs.

The money awarded to the plaintiff in the original case was $37,800 for general damages to one engine and $47,800 for the second. 

Both parties filed several motions challenging the amount after the jury reached its conclusion in January.

Pigeon and TWP Consulting filed a motion for an award of prejudgment interest and to alter the judgment because the jury verdict was inconsistent. The plaintiffs also argued that the jury did not follow jury instructions.

The defendant also motioned to alter or amend the judgment, as well as a judgment as a matter of law, which could have created a new trial, reverse the jury or allow a judgment on the verdict. 

The defendants argued the jury awarded more than the cost of the engine despite finding the warranty applied to both of them. In the filing, the defendant said the price for each engine was $17,560 each.

Sammartino's June 7 ruling denied all motions from both sides.

Sammartino said, “The court assumes the jury awarded damages for parts and labor, as Mr. Pigeon was promised,” according to the ruling.

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