Two law firms secured a $30.8 million jury verdict for Milan Supply Chain Solutions, a logistics company and owner of a commercial trucking fleet, that purchased 243 faulty trucks from Navistar Inc. After a two-week trial, on August 10, 2017 a jury in Jackson, Tennessee found Navistar Inc. guilty of fraud and was in violation of the Tennessee Consumer Practice Act in connection with the sales. Milan was represented by Clay Miller and Warren Armstrong of the Texas law firm Miller Weisbrod and Adam Nelson of the Tennessee law firm of Rainey Kizer Reviere & Bell.
The case stems back to 2011 and 2012, when Navistar sold International Prostars with Maxxforce engines to Milan. Navistar was alleged to have known that its Maxxforce 13 liter engines were defective due in part to its switching emission-control technologies from Advanced Exhaust Gas Recirculation to Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). This led to various quality problems that resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of warranty costs to Navistar and substantial losses on the resale market for Milan and other trucking companies.
The plaintiffs presented internal communications between Navistar executives that indicated they had knowledge of the faulty engines when they were selling them.
“The jury seemed shocked to hear this testimony about the corporate culture and philosophy of Navistar from one of the company’s top executives,” said Miller, who was a lead trial attorney for Milan. “It appeared the jury’s punitive damage verdict was a message to Navistar that it is not acceptable for the company to cover up important defects in the engines and the engines’ testing program in order to make a sale.” Miller added that 60,000 of these engines were sold to unsuspecting trucking companies.
The award was disseminated by $10.8 million of actual damages and $20 million in punitive damages.
The case was Milan Supply Chain Solutions, Inc. f/k/a Milan Express, Inc. v. Navistar, Inc. and Volunteer International, Inc.