The 7th Circuit Court Affirms Judgments Made in 2009 and 2010 in Favor of an Illinois Charter Flight Operator

May 3, 2011


The 7th Circuit Court has affirmed judgments made in 2009 and 2010 in favor of an Illinois charter flight operator; a client of SmithAmundsen.

In 2005, a Tennessee aircraft broker sold a 1983 Cessna Citation 550 jet to the charter flight operator. Shortly after the deal was closed and the charter flight operator took possession of the plane, significant undisclosed prior damage was discovered.

The charter flight operator filed suit against the aircraft broker, and the aircraft broker’s inspection and repair service, for breach of contract and fraud. The repair service settled with the charter flight operator. Soon after, a two-week jury trial found in favor of the charter flight operator on the breach of contract count.

While this verdict did favor the plaintiff, inconsistencies involving the defense counsel’s actions and jury questions warranted that the judge order a new trial. In 2010, before the second trial, the charter flight operator waived its request for punitive damages on its fraud claim. Subsequently, the second jury needed only to determine damages for fraud and breach of contract, which it did in the amount of approximately $100,000. The 7th Circuit rejected five issues raised by the aircraft broker on appeal and affirmed the district court’s decision.

SmithAmundsen attorneys Alan L. Farkas and Michael McGrory provided counsel for the charter flight operator in this matter. Either attorney can be contacted through the above information for more details on the case or further comment on this decision.