A professional pilot was flying his helicopter over rough terrain when the turbine engine stopped and the helicopter crashed. The pilot survived the crash but injured his back. The facility that had last overhauled the engine claimed that it was the pilot who caused the crash by failing to check the oil level in the engine before taking off—it also claimed that the pilot did not follow appropriate emergency procedures when the engine seized up.
We proved at trial that the overhaul facility had failed to tighten a critical bearing retaining nut. The loose nut caused the turbine engine to meltdown in flight, just as it would have if the oil level had dropped too low. We also demonstrated that the pilot had handled the emergency perfectly; otherwise, he would not have survived at all.
The jury determined that the engine overhauler was fully responsible and awarded the pilot $2.9 million.