United States District Court, D. Arizona
Starr Indemnity and Liability Company, as Subrogee of Med-Trans, a corporation; and Med-Trans Corporation, Plaintiffs,
Rolls-Royce Corporation; Rolls-Royce North America, Inc.; John Does I-X; ABC Corporations I-X; and Black and White Partnerships I-X, Defendants.
Honorable Bruce G. Macdonald United States Magistrate Judge
pending before the Court is Defendant Rolls-Royce
Corporation's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 90).
Defendant has also filed a Separate Statement of Facts in
Support of Motion for Summary Judgment (“SOF”)
(Doc. 91). Plaintiff has responded (“Response”)
(Doc. 97) and filed its Controverting Statement of Facts in
Opposition to Rolls-Royce Corporation's Motion for
Summary Judgment (“CSOF”) (Doc. 98). Defendant
replied (Doc. 104) and filed a Supplemental Statement of
Facts and Controverting Statement of Facts in Support of
Rolls-Royce Corporation's Reply in Support of its Motion
for Summary Judgment (“SSOF”) (Doc. 105).
Plaintiff then filed a Motion to Strike Defendant Rolls-Royce
Corporation's Supplemental Statement of Facts in Support
of its Reply in Support of its Motion for Summary Judgment
(Doc. 106), which Defendant opposed (Doc. 107). As such, the
motions are fully briefed and ripe for adjudication.
discretion, the Court finds this case suitable for decision
without oral argument. See LRCiv. 7.2(f). The
Parties have adequately presented the facts and legal
arguments in their briefs and supporting documents, and the
decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral
MOTION TO STRIKE
initial matter, Plaintiffs seek to strike Defendant's
Supplemental Statement of Facts and Controverting Statement
of Facts (Doc. 105) because it is not allowed by the local
rules. See Pls.' Mot. to Strike (Doc. 106).
Plaintiffs further urge that Defendant's Supplemental
Statement “contains objections to Plaintiffs'
evidence and is littered with legal arguments” also in
violation of the local rules. Id. at 3. The Court is
not inclined to strike Defendant's submission based on a
perceived technical procedural violation. The Court will
evaluate the evidence, as necessary, in the course of its
resolution of Defendant's summary judgment motion. As
such, Plaintiffs' motion to strike is DENIED.
helicopter involved in the incident giving rise to the
current litigation was a 1998 Bell 407 emergency medical
services helicopter, bearing serial number 53281 and FAA
registration number N509MT (the “Aircraft”).
Compl. (Doc. 1-1) at ¶ 6. On January 28, 2003, Med-Trans
purchased the Aircraft from Augusta Aerospace that contained
a different engine than the one involved in the incident.
Def.'s SOF (Doc. 91), Aircraft Bill of Sale 1/28/2003
(Exh. “1”); see also Pls.' CSOF
(Doc. 98). At the time of the incident, the Aircraft
contained a 250-C47B turbine engine, with serial number
CAE-847656 (the “subject engine”). Compl. (Doc.
1-1) at ¶ 9. The subject engine was manufactured by
Rolls-Royce Corporation (“RRC”) and sold to Bell
Helicopter Canada, also known as Bell Helicopter Textron,
Inc., (“Bell”) and was shipped to Bell on April
28, 2004. Def.'s SOF (Doc. 91), Certificate of
Conformance 4/28/2004 (Exh. “2”); see
also Def.'s SSOF (Doc. 105), Sain Decl. 11/6/2018
(Exh. “13”) at ¶ 4. When Bell originally
sold the subject engine, it was in a helicopter with FAA
registration number N515MT (“originating
helicopter”), which is a separate helicopter from the
Aircraft at issue in this case. Def.'s SOF (Doc. 91),
Service Record, Engine Assembly, Engine Serial No. 847656
(Exh. “4”); see also Pls.' CSOF
(Doc. 98), Service Record, Engine Assembly, Engine Serial No.
847656 (Exh. “D”). On October 6, 2004, Bell
notified RRC to begin the warranty of the subject engine on
January 15, 2005 and identified Med-Trans as the
customer. Def.'s SOF (Doc. 91), Gerdes e-mail to
Model 250 - Customer Support 2/4/2005 (Exh. “3”).
On November 16, 2009, Premier Turbines replaced the subject
engine's Third Stage Turbine Wheel, serial number
X536586, with serial number X589849 (the “subject
Turbine Wheel”). Def.'s SOF (Doc. 91), Assembly
Record, Turbine Assembly, Turbine Serial No. CAT-44958 (Exh.
“5”). On November 28, 2009, the subject engine
with the subject Turbine Wheel was installed in the Aircraft.
Def.'s SOF (Doc. 91), Exh. “4.”
The Hard Landing
Plaintiffs' damages arise from an alleged “hard
landing” of a Bell 407 helicopter that occurred on
April 14, 2012, in Aberdeen, South Dakota. See
Compl. (Doc. 1-1) ¶ 8. The hard landing occurred over
thirty (30) months and over a thousand hours after the
subject Turbine Wheel was installed in the subject engine.
See Def.'s SOF (Doc. 91), Aircraft Status Sheet
4/10/2012 (Doc. 91-1) at 6, 11 & Post-Incident Photo. of
Hobbs Meter (collectively Exh.
Warranties 1. Engine Warranty
subject engine was warrantied as being free from defects in
materials and workmanship for twenty-four months from the
date of delivery to the aircraft manufacturer or one thousand
hours of operation, “whichever period expires
first.” Def.'s SOF (Doc. 91), Rolls-Royce
Model 250-C40/C47 Series New Original Equipment Engine
Warranty and Disclaimer Summary (Exh. “7”) at 13;
see also Def.'s SSOF (Doc. 105), Sain Decl.
11/6/2018 (Exh. “13”) at ¶ 6. The warranty
states in relevant part:
(PURCHASER) ACCEPTS AND AGREES THAT THE WARRANTIES GRANTED TO
THE (PURCHASER UNDER CLAUSE 5 OF THE PURCHASE CONTRACT AND,
SO FAR AS THEY RELATE TO THE SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT, THE
PRODUCT ASSURANCE GUARANTEES GRANTED TO THE (PURCHASER) UNDER
CLAUSE 4 HEREOF ARE EXCLUSIVE AND ARE EXPRESSLY IN LIEU OF
AND THE (PURCHASER) HEREBY WAIVES, RELEASES AND DISCLAIMS (I)
ALL OTHER CONDITIONS AND WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED,
INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF
MERCHANTABILITY OR OF FITNESS, AND ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY
ARISING FROM COURSE OF PERFORMANCE, COURSE OF DEALING OR
USAGE OR TRADE, (II) ALL OTHER OBLIGATIONS AND LIAGBILITIES
WHATSOEVER OF ROLLS-ROYCE WHETHER IN CONTRACT, WARRANTY OR
TORT (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, NEGLIGENCE, ACTIVE,
PASSIVE OR IMPUTED LIABILITY OR STRICT LIABILITY) OR BY
STATUTE OR OTHERWISE FOR ANY NON-CONFORMANCE, DEFECT,
DEFICIENCY, FAILURE, MALFUNCTIONING, OR FAILURE TO FUNCTION
OF ANY ITEM OF THE SUPPLIES OR OF THE EQUIPMENT REFERRED TO
IN CLAUSE 5.2 OF THE PURCHASE CONTRACT, (III) STRICT
LIABILITY OR PRODUCT LIABILITY, AND (IV) ALL DIRECT,
INDIRECT, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL AND INCIDENTAL DAMAGES OF
ANY NATURE WHATSOEVER[.]
Def.'s SOF (Doc. 91), Exh. “7” at 13. At the
time of the hard landing, the subject engine's warranty
had long expired by time and hours. Def.'s SOF (Doc. 91),
Service Record, Compressor Assembly, Compressor Serial No.
CAC-45317 (Exh. “8”); see also
Def.'s SSOF (Doc. 105), Exh. “13” at ¶
Third Stage Turbine Wheel Warranty
Third Stage Turbine Wheel replacement part was subject to the
Rolls-Royce M250 Spare Module/Part Limited Warranty
(“Limited Warranty”) which was “in effect
for twenty-four (24) months from the date of shipment from
the Rolls-Royce Authorized Distributor or one thousand (1,
000) hours of operation, whichever occurs
first.” Def.'s SOF (Doc. 91), Rolls-Royce M250
Spare Module/Part Limited Warranty (Exh. “9”);
see also Def.'s SSOF (Doc. 105), Exh.
“13” at ¶ 8. At the time of the hard
landing, the subject Turbine Wheel had operated for thirty
(30) months and had 1096.3 hours. See Compl. (Doc.
1-1) at ¶ 8; see also Def.'s SOF (Doc. 91),
The Instant Litigation
insured the Aircraft through Plaintiff Starr Indemnity and
Liability Company (“Starr”) under policy number
SASICOM60005611-02. Compl. (Doc. 1-1) at ¶ 13. Med-Trans
submitted an insurance claim to Starr that later indemnified
Med-Trans “in an amount of $1, 317, 403.35 for the
damage to the Aircraft.” Id. at ¶ 14.
Plaintiffs claim that the incident was caused by the subject
Turbine Wheel that failed causing the hard landing. See
Id. at ¶¶ 10-11. Although Plaintiffs also
allege that the incident caused injury to the pilot, they do
not allege that they themselves have incurred any loss as a
result of personal injuries. See Compl. (Doc.
1-1). Both Med-Trans and Starr, as its subrogee, filed suit
against RRC alleging strict liability, negligence, and breach
of express and/or implied warranty claims. Id. at
¶¶ 15, 17-38.