Plaintiff filed suit against JAL, alleging that JAL retaliated against him for reporting safety concerns and constructively terminated him for reasons related to his medical and mental fitness. At issue on appeal was whether the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (FAA), 49 U.S.C. 40103 et seq., preempted plaintiff's state law claims. The court concluded that the FAA and accompanying regulations preempted plaintiff's retaliation and constructive termination claims. The court held that federal law preempted state law claims that encroached upon, supplemented, or altered the federally occupied field of aviation safety and presented an obstacle to the accomplishment of Congress's legislative goal to create a single, uniform, system of regulating that field. Further, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff's motion for reconsideration where he conceded that the conduct giving rise to his claims occurred in U.S. airspace. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment in favor of JAL. View "Ventress v. Japan Airlines" on Justia Law
After plaintiff was criminally charged, plaintiff filed a civil action against United Airlines in state court, alleging that its personnel falsified police reports, falsely diagnosed an epileptic seizure, and threatened him with an ice mallet, among other things. United removed the case to district court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. The court granted United's motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff then filed the present action against defendant, the Prosecuting Attorney of King County, contending that he had no jurisdiction to file a criminal complaint against plaintiff. Defendant moved for summary judgment, plaintiff did not file any response, and the district court granted the motion. Plaintiff did not file anything further in the district court, and, instead, filed this appeal to the court. The court agreed with plaintiff that, under the Federal Rules, a motion for summary judgment could not be granted based on a failure to file an opposition to the motion, regardless of any local rule that suggested the contrary. However, on the merits, the court affirmed the grant of summary judgment where defendant was entitled to summary judgment based on any of his three arguments presented in his motion. View "Heinemann v. Satterberg" on Justia Law
Plaintiff, who has difficulty walking because of certain health problems, alleged that United did not provide her with adequate assistance moving through the airport on two airplane trips and that she suffered physical and emotional injuries as a result. The court held that the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), 49 U.S.C. 40101 et seq., and its implementing regulations preempted state and territorial standards of care with respect to the circumstances which airlines must provide assistance to passengers with disabilities in moving through the airport. The ACAA did not, however, preempt any state remedies that could be available when airlines violated those standards. The court also held that the ACAA and its implementing regulations did not preempt state-law personal injury claims involving how airline agents interact with passengers with disabilities who requested assistance in moving through the airport. Finally, the court held that a terminal used for transportation by aircraft was excluded from definition as a Title III-covered place of public accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12181 et seq. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded in part. View "Gilstrap v. United Air Lines, Inc." on Justia Law
Plaintiff brought suit against an airline alleging a common law breach of contract under the implied covenant of god faith and fair dealing. The district court held that Plaintiff's claim was preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act (ADA) and dismissed the claim pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court after examining the purpose, history, and language of the ADA, along with Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit precedent, leading the Court to conclude that the ADA does not preempt a contract claim based on the doctrine of good faith and fair dealing. View "Ginsberg v. Northwest, Inc." on Justia Law
Defendant was convicted, on a plea of guilty, of serving as an airman without an airman's certificate. Defendant appealed from his sentence on the ground that the district court procedurally erred by sentencing him pursuant to U.S.S.G. 2A5.2 rather than U.S.S.G. 2B1.1. The court held that, by relying on defendant's uncharged relevant conduct in selecting the applicable guidelines, the district court incorrectly calculated defendant's guidelines range. In doing so, the district court committed procedural error in sentencing him and therefore, the court vacated the sentence and remanded for resentencing under the correct guideline.
This case arose when the Port of Los Angeles prohibited motor carriers from operating drayage trucks on port property unless the motor carriers entered into concession agreements with the port. The concession agreements set forth fourteen specific requirements covering, among other things, truck driver employment, truck maintenance, parking, and port security. The agreements were adopted as part of the port's "Clean Truck Program," adopted in response to community opposition that had successfully stymied port growth. Plaintiff challenged the concession agreements, arguing that they were preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAA Act), 49 U.S.C. 14501 et seq. The court held that the district court meticulously identified and applied the governing law. The court affirmed the district court's holding that the financial capability, maintenance, off-street parking, and placard provisions were not preempted. The court reversed the district court's conclusion that the employee-driver provision was saved from preemption by the market participant doctrine, and remanded for further proceedings.
Posted in: Aviation, Constitutional Law, Environmental Law, Government & Administrative Law, Real Estate & Property Law, Transportation Law, U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Zoning, Planning & Land Use
Plaintiff sued Icelandair in federal district court, alleging that it was liable for her injuries under Article 17 of the Convention of the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Transportation by Air (Montreal Convention), which established that air carriers were liable for accidents that occurred to passengers while they were boarding, aboard, or disembarking aircraft, S. Treaty Doc. No. 106-45, 33. At issue was whether the district court properly granted summary judgment on behalf of Icelandair. The court held that a plaintiff did not have to prove that an airline violated a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standard to establish that there was an "accident" under Article 17 of the Montreal Convention. The court also held that because the district court held otherwise, requiring plaintiff to provide evidence that the airline had failed to meet FAA requirements in order to survive summary judgment, the court reversed and remanded.
Plaintiffs, working as auditors in The Boeing Company's ("Boeing") IT Sarbanes-Oxley ("SOX") Audit group, filed SOX whistleblower complaints under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, U.S.C. 1514(a)(1), with the Occupation Safety and Health Administration after they were terminated by Boeing when they spoke with a reporter from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ("Post-Intelligencer") about Boeing's compliance with SOX. At issue was whether plaintiffs' disclosures to the Post-Intelligencer were protected under section 1514(a)(1), which protected employees of publicly-traded companies who disclose certain types of information. The court held that section 1514(a)(1) did not protect employees of publicly-held companies from retaliation when they disclosed information regarding designated types of fraud or securities violations to members of the media.
Posted in: Aviation, Business Law, Corporate Compliance, Labor & Employment Law, U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals