A Dallas jury has returned a $1.3 million verdict against Honeywell International Inc., finding the company liable for fraud. The plaintiff, Hunt Consolidated Inc., claimed Hunt well failed to adequately disclose risks associated with an engine part defect in a Learjet 40 plane Hunt owned. The jury found Honeywell had committed fraud through an intentional misrepresentation and by also failing to disclose or concealing a material fact.
Hunt claimed it wasn’t told about a problem with the blade retainers in its engines in time to repair them before one of the engines malfunctioned at takeoff on a 2011 flight. Hunt, the oil and real estate company, contended that Honeywell had a responsibility to do more to notify customers that its blade retainers – thin metal pieces about an inch long that keep engine blades in pace – were likely to break and could damage other parts of the engine.
The jury awarded about $878,000 for repairs to the Hunt plane and another $518,000 for the rental costs Hunt incurred while its plane was out of service. But the jurors did not find Hunt was owed about $1 million for what it claimed was the diminution of value to the plane as a result of the engine malfunction. This case is just another example of how a corporate, finding it has been the victim of wrongdoing by another corporation, will use the court system to make things right.
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