Articles Posted in Aviation

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Plaintiffs, Mexican nationals, filed suit against defendants, international air transportation companies that transport passengers to and from the United States and Mexico, under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1961-68, alleging that defendants defrauded them by collecting a Mexican tourism tax in which they were exempt. Mexico imposed a tax on certain travelers who arrive in Mexico on flights that originated outside of Mexico, but exempted Mexican nationals and children under the age of two. The district court dismissed the case with prejudice. The court concluded that, although defendants' conduct regarding the tax was very troubling, plaintiffs failed to allege the existence of an express agreement, let alone an "enterprise" under section 1962. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Almanza v. United Airlines" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, seeking to represent a class of customers, filed a civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1961-68, case claiming that Spirit engaged in an elaborate criminal enterprise involving the use of mail and wire fraud. The complaint specifically alleged that Spirit portrayed its Passenger Usage Fee as a government-imposed or authorized fee when, in fact, it was merely a portion of the base fare price of an airline ticket charged by the airline. On remand, the district court dismissed plaintiffs’ second amended complaint for failure to state a claim. The court affirmed, concluding that plaintiffs failed to adequately allege proximate cause; and they also failed to properly plead the existence of a RICO enterprise. View "Ray v. Spirit Airlines" on Justia Law

Posted in: Aviation

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Plaintiff filed suit against Air Jamaica and Caribbean Airlines, seeking recovery under Article 17 and 19 of the Montreal Convention, S. Treaty Doc. No. 106-45, 2242 U.N.T.S. 350, a multilateral treaty setting rules for international air travel. Article 17 addresses accidents that injure passengers on board a plane or during the course of embarkation or disembarkation, and Article 19 concerns damages due to delay. The district court dismissed the amended complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The court concluded, however, that Article 33 granted the district court power to hear plaintiff's claims. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal on alternative grounds to the extent that plaintiff failed to state claims against defendants. The court vacated the dismissal of the Article 19 claim against Air Jamaica for damages from the $150 fee to change flights, and remanded only as to that issue. View "Campbell v. Air Jamaica Ltd., et al." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1961-1968, alleging that Spirit conducted an enterprise by means of racketeering activity. The district court dismissed the action. The court concluded that, because federal laws do not preempt other federal laws, subsequent legislation could preclude plaintiffs' claims only if Congress had repealed the provision of RICO, at least insofar as they authorized plaintiffs' actions; Congress did not do so expressly through the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (ADA), Pub. L. No. 95-504, 92 Stat. 1705; there was no "repeal by implication" because Congress has not exhibited the requisite clear and manifest intent; and a saving clause found in the ADA did not disturb any other remedies provided by law. The court concluded that the two laws are not irreconcilably in conflict, nor was the ADA clearly intended as a substitute for RICO. The court, applying the strong presumption against implied repeals, was strongly constrained to conclude that RICO supplements, rather than subverts, federal regulation of air carriers. The court also held that the federal regulatory scheme governing the airline industry does not preclude a claim founded on the civil provisions of RICO. Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded. View "Ray, et al. v. Spirit Airlines, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Aviation