Project Description

Mechanical Engineering Expert

for Consumer Class Action

The need

Attorneys representing the plaintiffs in a consumer class action against an automobile manufacturer needed an expert in piston ring engineering to prove that piston rings caused excessive oil consumption in the class vehicles. In addition to excessive oil consumption, it was also alleged that the piston rings did not allow the class vehicles to use oil properly thus leaving the engine improperly lubricated and causing damage. Therefore, the ideal expert would need to understand excessive oil consumption and engine component lubrication as well as be able to explain what happens to engine mechanics without sufficient oil.

Our approach

Based on the details of the case, we understood that the expert would need to have full knowledge of the mechanics that enable oil to be distributed to different parts of a car engine. Additionally, the expert would need to be able to explain erratic combustion and what causes vehicles to stall. The clients ranked strong credentials over prior testimony experience, which was preferred, but not necessary.

The expert

We found an expert who had an MBA as well as an MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering all from prominent institutions. He also had automobile industry experience having worked at two engine manufacturers. After leaving industry, he joined the Automotive Laboratory at a prominent university where his research focused on diesel engines, engine combustion as well as heat transfer and lubrication. He had received several awards over his 40-year career from technical societies including one for his research on lubricants. The case was settled favorably for the plaintiffs.