CASE STUDY: E10 MARINE ENGINE CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
Kelecseny, et al., vs. Chevron, U.S.A., INC., et al., was a Class Action Consumer Product Liability case that arose from damage to boats in the State of Florida allegedly caused by ethanol blended gasoline, commonly known as E10. The E10 gasoline currently available in Florida is a blend of ethanol-free hydrocarbon gasoline and approximately 10 percent fuel-grade ethanol. Before E10 fuel was mandated, extensive studies were performed to determine its effects on automobile engines, and auto manufacturers made changes to fuel system components to make their cars more E10-friendly. However, the marine environment is not as friendly to E10.
On behalf of a consortium of law firms representing all major U.S. petroleum producers, Trident’s multidisciplinary team of engineering experts investigated plaintiff boats and engines and analyzed deposits on engine components and erosion to fuel system components. Trident also searched marine engine manuals, technical reports and main-stream literature for information to bolster our client’s case. Information was compiled by surveying marine engine mechanics and marine surveyors to provide an independent determination of the extent of the E10 problem. An analysis of the State of Florida’s boat registration database provided hard numbers for boats with the potential for E10 problems
Trident’s experts successfully rebutted assertions made by plaintiff’s experts. United States District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga denied plaintiff’s motion for class certification.
- Stanley “Sandy” J. Dapkunas, P.E.
Director of Aviation & Marine Engineering
- Timothy R. Geis, P.E.
- Thomas Nodeen
- Karen Wiley-Alt