Co-authored by Gregory C. Johnson

An aircraft seller’s fraud claims against a manufacturer were dismissed after a federal court in Connecticut ruled that the seller did not reasonably rely on a “target” delivery date and caused its own injuries by entering restrictive resale contracts.

Aviamax Aviation Ltd. agreed to purchase an airplane from Bombadier Aerospace Corp. and had also contracted to sell the plane to a third party, who had agreed to accept delivery by any date. After substantial delays, Bombadier, in an amended agreement, committed to a “target date” of August 30, 2008, spurring Aviamax to cancel the original resale contract and execute a more lucrative deal with a prospective customer that hinged on timely delivery. After further delays scuttled this second deal, and a third, Aviamax sued Bombadier for fraud and negligent misrepresentation, asserting that Bombadier lied about its ability to meet the delivery schedule.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut dismissed Aviamax’s claims. The court held that the “target date” in the amended agreement, as well as other provisions that governed other possible delays, demonstrated that Aviamax could not reasonably rely on the delivery schedule in the amended contract. Additionally, the court held that Aviamax caused its own injuries by canceling the original “no-deadline” deal and entering the subsequent contracts, which might have been more lucrative but which involved hard deadlines that Aviamax could not reasonably expect to meet. (Aviamax Aviation Ltd. v. Bombardier Aerospace Corp., 2010 WL 1882316 (D. Conn. May 10, 2010))