State wants German company to force employee testimony on ferry engines

Associated PressSeptember 19, 2012 

JUNEAU -- Alaska attorneys will head to Germany to interview the makers of ferry engines the state claims were defective.

KTOO reports the state is suing MTU Friedrichshafen, which made engines for the ferries Fairweather and Chenega.

Ten employees are scheduled to be quizzed, but state attorneys want the company to compel them to be interviewed.

The company's lawyers said during a pre-trial hearing in Juneau Monday that German law doesn't allow them to force employees to take part in oral dispositions. Participation has to be voluntary, and they would not be required to take an oath.

Lawyers for the German company say there's a formal process to have potential witnesses testify under oath, but it's up to Alaska attorneys to learn about German law.

Trial will start in April.

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