BECKLEY – A lawsuit against Continental Motors alleging price gouging has been removed to federal court.
The defendants allege that while Martin E. O’Boyle owns property in Raleigh County, he is also a part-time resident of both New Jersey and Florida, CP #1109 is in Florida and the Continental defendants are Delaware corporations with principal places of business in Alabama, according to the May 25 notice of removal.
The amount in controversy also exceeds $75,000, according to the notice of removal.
“Even if the court does not find the plaintiffs’ alleged damages persuasive, the amount in controversy is still satisfied through plaintiff’s past settlement demands and damage representation to defendants,” the notice states.
CP and O’Boyle claim in November 2010 the aircraft was serviced at Albatross Air Inc. in Beaver the mechanic servicing the plane noticed that oil was leaking from the engine and that the crankhouse on the aircraft was cracked and needed repaired and/or replaced.
The plaintiffs contacted Continental Motors to determine what work needed to be performed on the engine and who was qualified to perform the work and the defendants recommended Mattituck, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim the repairs and/or replacements were not covered by any warranty and Mattituck returned to engine to Albatross in March 2011, alleging that the engine was repaired, airworthy and ready to be reinstalled in the aircraft.
Continental and Mattituck did not truthfully inform the plaintiffs or Albatross of the defects associated with the engine and, after the engine was reinstalled, it experienced various problems, including overheating and a noticeable lack of power creating dangerous conditions in flight, which got progressively worse over the next year, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim during this period, they were told the engine needed to be “broken in” and they were unaware of the potentially fatal defect lurking within the engine. However, unknown to the plaintiffs at the time, there were several near fatal crashes and forced landings as a result of contaminated liquid cooled cylinders manufactured by the defendants.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants alerted the FAA of the dangerous situation and told the FAA they were taking remedial action, including tracking down the locations of the cylinders and notifying the buyers. The defendants informed the FAA they had completed the remedial action by notifying each of the buyers in November 2012, however, the plaintiffs were never contacted.
When the plaintiffs contacted Continental after an incident, they were finally advised of the “bad batch” of cylinders, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim the defendants’ employees inspected the engine and determined the cylinders manufactures were indeed part of the “bad batch” and when the plaintiffs spoke with Continental about the necessary resolution of the dangerous issue, Continental represented that it had the right to make any repairs to the engine they deemed appropriate pursuant to the terms of the contract between the plaintiffs and the defendants.
In March 2013, the defendants transmitted a false warranty to the plaintiffs in order to deceive and defraud them about their legal rights, all to the benefit of Continental Motors, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim despite the fact that they did not purchase a new engine, the defendants provided a warranty titled “Continental Motors Premium OEM Engine Warranty” which provided limited coverage for “new aircraft engines” and insisting to the plaintiffs that their rights were subject to and limited by the warranty.
As of October 2013, Continental Motors has refused to complete the necessary repairs or replacements and compensate the plaintiffs for their ascertainable losses, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim they brought a civil suit against Continental Motors and Mattituck in November 2013 in the Superior Court o New Jersey and the parties are litigating post-trial motions in that proceeding.
In Summer 2016, the plaintiffs attempted to mitigate the damages and attempted to purchase a new motor from the defendants, however, the defendants demanded a payment of $300,000 for a new motor with no warranty, which was approximately five times more than the originally quoted price, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim after the defendants’ unconscionable price gouging demand, the plaintiffs instead decided to rebuilt their engine and ordered parts that were advertised as being available for purchase by the defendants, however, a portion of the parts were delivered in January, but the defendants they sent notice they were refusing to deliver the remainder of the parts.
The plaintiffs are seeking actual damages. They are being represented by Thomas W. White and Christopher J. Prezioso of Dinsmore & Shohl.
The defendants are being represented by Robert C. James and Mitchell B. Tuggle of Flaherty Sensabaugh & Bonasso.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 5:17-cv-03036