EXPERIENCE

Challenge:  

A heli-ski operator and pilot filed suit in British Columbia against the engine manufacturer, claiming a defect in the fuel control unit caused the helicopter to lose rotor speed and crash in a remote mountain valley. The operator sought about $2.5 million in repair costs and business losses, and the pilot claimed personal injury.

Solution:  

We moved the lawsuit to arbitration using an arbitration provision in the engine lease agreement. We also asserted claims against the operator for indemnity and failure to insure our client under indemnity and insurance provisions in that agreement.

During a two-week trial before a single arbitrator in Montreal, we presented in-house and outside experts who showed that the cause of the accident was the in-flight detachment of a control cable caused by a maintenance company’s failure to install a cotter pin.  The arbitrator ruled there was no product defect and awarded the client the fees and costs of defending the original lawsuits and the arbitration, as well as damages for the loss of the engine.