Lycoming Appeal Of Crankshaft Case Quashed

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The lawyer for a Navasota, Texas-based foundry says the Supreme Court of Texas has upheld a lower court ruling absolving his client of wrongdoing in the manufacture of faulty crankshafts that were installed in Lycoming engines. In 2005, Interstate Southwest won a jury decision that not only found it blameless, but also found Lycoming liable for fraud in the case. Lycoming appealed and the Supreme Court rejected that appeal on Tuesday. "This Supreme Court decision means Interstate Southwest wins and Lycoming loses it's as simple as that," attorney Marty Rose said in a news release "A jury of 12 people looked at this and said that Lycoming was to blame. This decision affirms that." Lycoming did not immediately respond to our email request for comment Wednesday.

The case goes back to 2003 when a series of crankshaft failures in high-horsepower Lycomings prompted a massive recall. Lycoming sued Interstate, which made the cranks, but the jury found that it was Lycoming's design, particularly the addition of vanadium to the alloy mix, that weakened the cranks. Interstate maintained that the cranks were made to Lycoming specs and Rose says the Supreme Court ruling affirms the part maker "made no mistakes" in the process. Earlier appellate court rulings reduced a $96 million judgment awarded Interstate by the jury to lawyer fees only but also stopped a $186 million counterclaim by Lycoming.