Attorneys in a Grimes County Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Speak Out

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The multi-million dollar civil suit, a Navasota forging company filed against a Pennsylvanian airplane manufacturer has ended in a multi-million dollar verdict.

Interstate Southwest Forging Company of Navasota will receive $96 million because jurors found that Textron Lycoming of Avco Corp wrongfully blamed them for supplying faulty airplane crankshafts.

It's a case that began after 24 airplane engine failures, 12 deaths, and a large engine recall by the FAA.

Interstate Southwest employs nearly 500 people. While forging crankshafts is only a small part of its business, it led to a large battle in court.

The company said Lycoming committed fraud.

"Lycoming had fraudulently concocted a story, sold it to the public, sold it to the FAA, and tried to sell it to us to blame us to get us to pay $173 million for all the recall damages and to avoid having to fix these crankshafts," said plaintiff attorney Martin Rose.

Rose is one of the attorneys that represented Interstate Southwest. He said Lycoming added a chemical to the crankshafts that caused them to fail.

"Lycoming to save some money in some of their manufacturing steps, changed the chemistry of the steel by adding an element called vanadium. That change in the chemistry caused these crankshafts to have little tiny microscopic particles, which in a normally designed crankshaft would make no difference," said Rose.

Rose said the vanadium weakened the crankshafts causing them to fracture.

"It's great that you can take a dispute like this and know that you've been wronged and go to the courthouse and get righted," said Rose.

Lycoming's attorney, Scott Cowan of Houston said the company strongly disagrees with the verdict. He said after the judge enters the verdict, he plans to appeal the ruling.