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BizJet Hit With $6M Suit Over ‘Shoddy’ Engine Repairs

Written by Carolina Bolado - Law360, New York | May 10, 2016 | News

Law360, New York (May 9, 2016, 10:04 PM ET) — BizJet, a U.S.-based unit of aircraft maintenance company Lufthansa Technik AG, was hit Monday with a $6 million suit in Florida federal court claiming the company lied about its ability to service a Rolls Royce aircraft engine and did a “shoddy” job on repairs.

In a suit filed in the Southern District of Florida, engineering consultant company Monsoon Inc., which owns a Gulfstream G450 aircraft for its CEO’s use, says BizJet was “grossly negligent” in performing the midlife inspection of the plane’s Rolls Royce Tay 611-8C engines, which is required after 10 years of engine operation.

The engines were among the first of the Tay 611-8C engines to reach the midlife inspection, and BizJet falsely represented its abilities in order to tap into the large potential market for midlife inspections on these engines, which was projected to exceed $100 million, according to the suit.

“BizJet’s misconduct literally put lives at risk and caused Monsoon millions of dollars in damages,” Monsoon said in the complaint.

BizJet significantly overstated its capabilities and equipment and ended up charging far more than promised and taking longer than expected, according to Monsoon.

In addition, the work was shoddy, resulting in an engine that was too dangerous to operate and had to be redone by Rolls Royce, according to the suit. The plane was out of commission for 17 months after it was originally sent to BizJet for what was supposed to have been a 40-day inspection, Monsoon said.

Monsoon also noted recent difficulties at the Oklahoma-based BizJet, which replaced its CEO in July 2015 after a previous CEO pled guilty for his role in an alleged scheme to pay bribes to government officials in Latin America. In November, BizJet cut 60 percent of its workforce.

“While Monsoon had been assured that it was contracting with an industry leader, in fact it had contracted with a company which was trending downward and was willing to make whatever promises were necessary to secure new business,” Monsoon said.

Monsoon said BizJet’s subpar work cost the company $3 million. The company is asking for that much in compensatory damages as well as an additional $3 million in punitive damages.

A representative for BizJet could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

The plaintiffs are represented by Richard L. Robbins and Jason S. Alloy of Robbins Ross Alloy Belinfante Littlefield LLC.

Counsel information for BizJet was unavailable.

The case is Monsoon Inc. et al. v. BizJet International Sales & Support Inc., case number 9:16-cv-80722, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.