Articles Posted in Aviation

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Plaintiffs filed suit claiming that American Airlines violated its obligation under the McCaskill‐Bond amendment to the Federal Aviation Act, 49 U.S.C. 42112 note, to provide for the integration of the American Airlines and U.S. Airways seniority lists “in a fair and equitable manner.” Plaintiffs also claimed principally that the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (“APFA”), the labor union representing American Airlines flight attendants, violated its duty of fair representation under the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. 151‐165, by failing to represent the former TWA flight attendants adequately during the creation of the integrated seniority list. The district court granted defendants' motions to dismiss. The court concluded that McCaskill‐Bond did not require American Airlines to reorder its own seniority list upon entering into a new merger in order to redress plaintiffs’ endtailing in 2001. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of plaintiffs’ claim against American Airlines under McCaskill‐Bond. The court also concluded that the union’s refusal to reorder the list, in accordance with its policy and the condition imposed by American Airlines, was not irrational or arbitrary; nor was the union’s decision to use the “length of service” rule to integrate the seniority lists unlawfully discriminatory in violation of the Railway Labor Act; and the amended complaint’s allegations do not raise an inference of “bad faith” on the part of APFA. The court considered plaintiffs' remaining arguments and concluded that they are without merit. The court affirmed the judgment. View "Flight Attendants in Reunion v. Am. Airlines, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against a group of airlines and security contractors seeking to recover losses after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Plaintiffs alleged that, because defendants were negligent in overseeing airport security systems, the terrorists were able to hijack American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 and to fly those planes into the Twin Towers. The district court entered judgment for defendants. The court agreed with the district court's conclusion that plaintiffs are entitled to compensation only for the amount of value that their leasehold interests lost due to the terrorist attacks, that they cannot recover their claimed consequential damages, and that, pursuant to CPLR 4545, their insurance recoveries correspond to, and offset, their potential tort award. The court also agreed that United had no duty to supervise the security checkpoints or detect the hijackers who boarded American Airlines Flight 11. However, the court concluded that the district court erred by using an incorrect methodology when calculating the value by which plaintiffs’ leasehold interests declined, and the district court wrongly decided that prejudgment interest accrues at the federal funds rate on the diminution in value of plaintiffs’ leasehold estates. The district court should have calculated prejudgment interest using New York’s statutory prejudgment interest rate, and assessed that interest based on the final damages award. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "World Trade Center Properties LLC v. American Airlines" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against JetBlue and its former employee, alleging federal and state law claims. Plaintiff's claims arose out of an encounter at JFK airport in which plaintiff was reported for making an alleged bomb threat and was then arrested by the FBI. Plaintiff had arrived at the gate after the boarding door was closed but her checked luggage was already on board. Unhappy with the situation, plaintiff made statements, or raised questions, about the possibility of a bomb in her luggage. The court agreed with the district court that defendants are immune from liability under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, 49 U.S.C. 44941. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Baez v. JetBlue Airways Corp." on Justia Law

Posted in: Aviation

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Petitioners sought review of a letter written by the FAA to the City of New York which endorsed a series of recommendations made by a panel of experts regarding the impact of a proposed marine trash-transfer facility on safe airport operations at LaGuardia Airport. The court held that, because the letter was not a final order for purposes of 49 U.S.C. 46110(a), the court was without jurisdiction to review it and, therefore, dismissed the petition. View "Paskar v. USDOT" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs brought suit against numerous foreign airlines alleging a conspiracy to fix prices in violation of state antitrust, consumer protection, and unfair competition laws. The district court dismissed those claims as expressly preempted by federal law. The Federal Aviation Act, 49 U.S.C. 41713(b)(1), preempted state-law claims "related to a price, route, or service of an air carrier." The court concluded that "air carrier" in that provision applied to foreign air carriers and therefore, affirmed the judgment. View "In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appealed from a judgment dismissing her disability-discrimination complaint against JetBlue. Plaintiff alleged that she required wheelchair assistance as a result of her disability and that JetBlue discriminated against her by failing to provide timely wheelchair assistance. The court affirmed the order of the district court because no private right of action existed for a violation of the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986, 49 U.S.C. 41705, and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. 12181-12189, did not apply to services provided by an air carrier in an airport terminal used primarily to facilitate air transportation.