Johnson & Bell shareholders Joseph R. Marconi and Victor J. Pioli received a favorable verdict in a federal court case in which they defended the seller of an airplane. The purchaser of the airplane had alleged claims for breach of contract and fraud on the grounds that the plane was riddled with defects that were known to the seller and not disclosed prior to the sale. The purchaser of the plane sought damages in excess of $2 million. The defense offered to settle the matter for $25,000 prior to trial and the plaintiff asked for $2.5 million.
At trial, the defense argued that the plane contained no more defects than would be expected for a used airplane and that the plane was always in an airworthy condition as deemed by the Federal Aviation Administration. The plaintiff contended that the airplane was not airworthy and that the plane had a substantial damage history that was not disclosed by defendant. After seven days of trial, the jury found in favor of defendant on the fraud claim and awarded only $40,696 for breach of contract.