Lycoming Crankshaft Case Ends in Victory for Texas Manufacturer


DALLAS – The Supreme Court of Texas has denied an appeal by airplane engine manufacturer Lycoming, effectively ending a six-year legal battle with a victory for a Texas company that made aircraft engine parts.

Today’s ruling affirms that Navasota, Texas-based Interstate Southwest, Ltd., made no mistakes in manufacturing engine crankshafts for Lycoming engines that later failed, causing airplane crashes and deaths, and leading to a worldwide grounding of aircraft.

“This Supreme Court decision means Interstate Southwest wins and Lycoming loses – it’s as simple as that,” says attorney Marty Rose of Rose•Walker in Dallas, who represents Interstate Southwest. “A jury of 12 people looked at this and said that Lycoming was to blame. This decision affirms that.”

In 2005, a jury in Grimes County, Texas, found the Lycoming engines division of Providence, RI-based Textron (NYSE:TXT) liable for fraud, and ordered the company to pay approximately $96 million to Interstate Southwest. An appeals court later reduced the amount to cover attorneys’ fees only, but left in place a finding that wiped out Lycoming’s $186 million counterclaim.

The appellate court also upheld the trial court’s judgment that Lycoming’s own design defect was the sole cause of the crankshaft failures and that Lycoming could not seek indemnity from Interstate Southwest for any other crankshaft failures. Lycoming since has been forced to recall thousands of additional crankshafts after more of them failed and wanted Interstate Southwest to pay for new crankshafts.

The engine failures led to repeated worldwide recalls of most Lycoming aircraft engines. It also prompted class-action lawsuits on behalf of airplane owners who sued Lycoming in an attempt to get the company to accept responsibility.

Rose•Walker, L.L.P. is a premier trial law firm, focusing on complex civil litigation. It represents businesses and individuals, and its many major courtroom victories have helped Rose•Walker earn a national reputation for excellence. To learn more about the firm, please visit

For more information on the decision from the Supreme Court of Texas, please contact Mark Annick at 800-559-4534, 214-213-1754 (mobile) or