Publications

Preemption of Contract Claims Under the ADA

Jeffrey N. Brown, Litigation Partner, Pircher, Nichols & Meeks and Teresa MacDonald Ascencio, Associate, Van Etten, Suzumoto & Becket LLP
Air & Space Lawyer
September 1, 2005

Since the enactment of the Airline Deregulation Act (“ADA”), thousands of litigants have felt the effect of the ADA’s far-reaching preemption provision. The United States Supreme Court has twice considered preemption under the ADA, providing some guidance to litigants. Yet even after the Supreme Court last considered the preemption clause of the ADA in 1995, lower courts have struggled to demarcate which claims are preempted, which remedies are available to litigants whose claims survive, and what is the proper forum for actions subject to the ADA. While the case law is replete with examples in tort cases, this article focuses primarily on the reach of the ADA with respect to contract claims, looking briefly at the history of the ADA preemption provision and then to recent case law addressing preemption of contract claims and remedies.

In the past several decades, the airline industry has grown exponentially, which many credit to the ADA. Such growth was the aim of Congress when, in 1978, it enacted the ADA to deregulate and boost competition in the airline industry. Congress believed that deregulation would promote the “efficiency, innovation, and low prices” needed to engender a world-class airline industry. To ensure that States did not undo the deregulation accomplished by the ADA, Congress included in the legislation a broad preemption clause:

a State, political subdivision of a State, or political authority of at least 2 States may not enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law related to a price, route, or service of an air carrier that may provide air transportation under this subpart.

The Supreme Court Lays Out General Guidelines

The Supreme Court first considered the ADA’s preemption provision in Morales, wherein the plaintiffs sought to enjoin seven state attorneys general from bringing suit under their States’ general consumer protection laws. The attorneys general were going to bring suit to prohibit deceptive airfare advertisements based upon enforcement of Air Travel Industry Guidelines promulgated by the National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”). The attorneys general were threatening to use the various States’ consumer protection laws as the vehicle for enforcing the NAAG guidelines. The guidelines addressed such issues as an airline’s advertising, frequent flyer programs, and payment to passengers who voluntarily accommodate overbooked flights (“bumping”). According to the NAAG, the guidelines did “not purport to ‘create any new laws or regulations’ applying to the airline industry; rather, they professed to ‘explain in detail how existing state laws apply to air fare advertising and frequent flyer programs.’” The state attorneys general announced their intention to bring the major airlines into compliance with these guidelines by filing suit, if necessary. As a preemptive measure, the airlines brought suit for a declaratory judgment and an injunction, asserting that an enforcement action concerning the airlines’ rates, routes, or services would be preempted by the ADA.

The Morales Court focused primarily on the “related to” language in the ADA preemption provision. Relying on decisions interpreting that phrase in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), the Court held that “[s]tate enforcement actions having a connection with, or reference to, airline ‘rates, routes, or services’ are pre-empted” under the ADA. The Court determined that the relevant portions of the NAAG guidelines concerning fare advertising “related to” airline rates and, thus, any action brought to enforce them would be preempted. In an analysis that has since become the cornerstone of recent court opinions, the Morales Court provided that state laws that relate to an airline’s rates, routes, or services in “too tenuous, remote, or peripheral a manner” are not preempted under the ADA. The Court did not believe the case pending before it presented a borderline question and, thus, declined to establish a bright line for preemption of state laws.

Three years later, the Court drew a brighter line in the Wolens case by declining to apply the ADA preemption provision to straight-forward breach of contract claims. In Wolens, the plaintiffs were private individuals who had participated in the defendant airline’s frequent flyer program and earned credits toward free flights and class upgrades. The airline subsequently modified its frequent flyer program, and the plaintiffs brought suit under Illinois consumer protection laws seeking to reverse the devaluation of their credits earned before the modification. While the plaintiffs conceded the airline’s right to modify the program prospectively, they sought to prevent the modification from operating retroactively.

Relying on its decision in Morales, the Wolens Court held that the administration of frequent flyer programs fell within the parameters of the ADA because it “related to” the air carrier’s rates and service. The Court then turned to the plaintiffs’ claims under the Illinois consumer protection laws and held that the ADA preempted the plaintiffs’ causes of action under the Illinois consumer protection laws:

the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act serves as a means to guide and police the marketing practices of the airlines; the Act does not simply give effect to bargains offered by the airlines and accepted by airline customers. In light of the full text of the preemption clause, and of the ADA’s purpose to leave largely to the airlines themselves, and not at all to States, the selection and design of marketing mechanisms appropriate to the furnishing of air transportation services, we conclude that §1305(a)(1) preempts plaintiffs’ claims under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.

The Wolens Court next addressed the plaintiffs’ breach of contract claims, holding that the ADA does not completely preempt causes of action for breach of contract: “We do not read the ADA’s preemption clause, however, to shelter airlines from suits alleging no violation of state-imposed obligations, but seeking recovery solely for the airline’s alleged breach of its own, self-imposed undertakings. . . . A remedy confined to a contract’s terms simply holds parties to their agreements . . . .” The Court narrowly construed its holding, stating “[t]his distinction between what the State dictates and what the airline itself undertakes confines courts, in breach-of-contract actions, to the parties’ bargain, with no enlargement or enhancement based on state laws or policies external to the agreement.” Accordingly, even in breach of contract actions “‘some state-law principles of contract law . . . might well be preempted to the extent they seek to effectuate the State’s public policies, rather than the intent of the parties.’” This holding is the basis of several post-Wolens cases that struggle to identify the contract claims that survive preemption under the ADA.

In short, under Morales and Wolens, courts addressing breach of contract claims must discern (1) whether the law “relates to” an airline’s rates, routes or services,” and, if so, (2) whether a State’s enforcement of a contract amounts to an “enactment or enforcement of any law.” Several courts have addressed these issues in the decade since the Wolens decision.

The First Prong: Whether Contract Claims Relate to Rates, Routes, or Services

The Morales Court declined to draw a bright line for determining when claims relate to an airline’s rates, routes, or services. The Morales Court held “we do not . . . set out on a road that leads to pre-emption of state laws against gambling and prostitution as applied to airlines. Nor need we address whether state regulation of the nonprice aspects of fare advertising (for example, state laws preventing obscene depictions) would similarly ‘relate to’ rates; the connection would obviously be far more tenuous.” Thus, the high court has left it to the lower courts to analyze and make decisions concerning the closer calls.

There is currently a split among the circuit courts with respect to the definition of “services.” Some Supreme Court justices recognized such when they dissented from the denial of the petition for certiorari in the Duncan case, stating the Courts of Appeals “have taken directly conflicting positions on this question of statutory interpretation.” The Ninth Circuit, relying on its earlier decision in the Charas case, held that “services” encompasses “‘the prices, schedules, origins and destinations of the point-to-point transportation of passengers, cargo, or mail [but not] provision of in-flight beverages, personal assistance to passengers, the handling of luggage, and similar amenities.’” The Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Circuits, however, have taken a much broader view, holding that “services” includes ticketing, boarding procedures, provision of beverages and food, and luggage handling.

While many of the cases deal with the definition of “services” in connection with tort claims, the definition adopted should have equal applicability in cases asserting breaches of contract. It follows, then, that a much broader range of contract claims will be preempted in the Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Circuits than in the Ninth Circuit. Thus, at present, the preemption clause of the ADA will reach claims in varying degrees depending upon where the claims are pending.

Courts have also addressed the relationship of claims to an airline’s “rates” or “prices.” Under Ninth Circuit jurisprudence, a claim is related to price if it expressly refers to price or if it has a significant economic impact on price. Other courts, however, analyze the issue differently, looking primarily to the Legislature’s intent. Where claims do not impede competition or adversely impact the economic condition of the airline industry, courts have refused to find that the ADA preempts the asserted claims, finding them to be “too tenuous, remote, or peripheral” to an airline’s rates, routes, or services.

When Enforcement of a Contract Amounts To State Enactment or Enforcement of a Law

A determination that a claim relates to an airline’s “rates, routes, or services” is not enough for preemption. Only where the claim amounts to a State’s enactment or enforcement of a law will it be preempted under the ADA.

If the source of the obligation is a state-imposed law or a state policy, then the claim is preempted, but if the source of the obligation is a voluntary undertaking, then the claim for enforcement of the obligation survives preemption. Therefore, based upon Wolens, contract claims often survive because States enforcing private obligations pursuant to contract are not enforcing or enacting a law so as to trigger preemption Accordingly, in the Osband case, for example, the Colorado appellate court held that a claim for breach of an express duty of good faith and fair dealing survived preemption, although a claim for breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing would not have survived. An express duty of good faith and fair dealing is one explicitly set out by the parties in the contract, and thus can be enforced like other express contractual terms.

Just as States’ enforcement of express contractual terms survives preemption, so do courts’ application of state contract interpretation laws in adjudicating parties’ contractual claims. So, for instance, “[r]ules governing contract interpretation—such as the use of extrinsic evidence to ascertain the meaning of the parties—only attempt to divine the parties’ intent and are permissibly applied in resolving state contract claims.” Likewise, the Fifth Circuit in Lyn-Lea Travel Corp. held that an affirmative defense of fraudulent inducement was not preempted under the ADA. In that matter, the defendant/airline cross-complained for breach of a contract against the plaintiff/travel agency. The plaintiff/travel agency asserted the affirmative defense of fraudulent inducement, claiming that it would not have entered into the contract if it had known that soon thereafter, the airline would modify its commission schedule to greatly reduce commissions paid to travel agents. The appellate court held that the fraudulent inducement affirmative defense was not preempted under the ADA, holding “fraudulent inducement is related to the fundamental issue in contract actions: is there an enforceable agreement?” The court reasoned, “[a] fraudulently induced party has not assented to an agreement because the fraudulent conduct precludes the requisite mutual assent.” The court looked to Wolens—“because contract law is, at its ‘core,’ uniform and non-diverse, there is little risk of inconsistent state adjudication of contractual obligations”—and reasoned that fraudulent inducement was a so-called core concept that did not equate to a state policy that enlarged or expanded the parties’ agreement. The application of contract construction laws makes sense as courts require these laws to adjudicate even routine breach of contract claims, which the Wolens Court saved from preemption.

Any contract claim must be narrowly-tailored, however, because any reference to laws or doctrines external to the parties’ contract will usually result in preemption. Osband provides an example. There, the court affirmed dismissal of a promissory estoppel claim because it was “not dependent on the existence of a contract . . . [but instead] was an extra-contractual enhancement of an agreement.” Promissory estoppel compels a party to act based not upon a voluntary undertaking, but upon one imposed by state law. As such, promissory estoppel claims are preempted under the ADA.

In fact, after Wolens, courts have consistently held that the ADA preempted contract claims where one of the parties asserted equitable doctrines traditionally applicable in breach of contract cases, including waiver, estoppel, and unclean hands. Unwary plaintiffs may even defeat their own claims by relying upon equitable principles outside the four corners of the contract because enforcement of the equitable principles amounts to a State’s enforcement of a law. For example, in three similar cases, three different courts found plaintiffs’ contract claims were preempted when they asserted equitable doctrines to avoid clauses in the contracts they were attempting to enforce. The Northern District of California found a breach of contract claim preempted where the plaintiff argued that under the doctrine of deviation, the defendant had forfeited its right to limit its liability. As the plaintiff asserted equitable principles to invalidate an express provision in the contract, its claim was preempted. In Breitling, a similar case, the plaintiff asserted that an air carrier breached a contract for the delivery of watches. While the contract was in force, hijackers intercepted one of the defendant’s trucks and stole merchandise from it, including the plaintiff’s watches. The air carrier asserted a limitation of liability clause in the parties’ contract, which provided that the carrier was only liable for losses due to its own negligence. The plaintiff sought to avoid application of the clause by arguing that the defendant had waived its right to enforce the clause. Relying on Wolens, the Connecticut District Court held the breach of contract claim was preempted based upon the plaintiff’s reliance on an equitable doctrine. The court held “common law principles may not be used to adjudicate contract claims relating to rates, routes, or services of an air carrier. . . because such a claim would amount to ‘an enlargement or enhancement based upon state laws or policies external to the agreement.’”

Similarly, the Central District of California held a plaintiff’s claims preempted under the ADA based upon his assertion of the unclean hands doctrine. In Williams, the plaintiff filed suit against the air carrier claiming that it intentionally delivered his package to a member of the Drug Enforcement Agency/Los Angeles International Airport Narcotics Task Force instead of to the intended recipient. The defendant air carrier asserted a notice provision under which the plaintiff had missed the 90-day deadline for providing notice of misdelivery. The plaintiff, in turn, asserted that the notice provision was not enforceable because the defendant had unclean hands based upon its alleged intentional misdelivery of the package. The court held that the plaintiff’s attempt to invoke the equitable doctrine of unclean hands was external to the contract and, therefore, preempted under the ADA.

Even defendants may effect preemption of breach of contract claims where they assert defenses that require courts to look at laws or policies external to the parties’ agreement. In Comair, for example, the defendant airline asserted that it was both entitled, under one federal statute, and required, under another federal statute, to prevent the plaintiff from boarding when he did not present proper identification. The defendant’s reliance on the federal laws outside the parties’ alleged contract resulted in preemption of the plaintiff’s breach of contract claim. “The company claims that to determine whether it breached its contract with [the plaintiff], a court must look to federal law, which is clearly external to the parties’ agreement. Because a court adjudicating [the plaintiff’s] contract claim could not confine itself to the terms of the parties’ bargain, Wolens is not controlling.”

In a similar case, the Supreme Court of Texas held a breach of contract claim was preempted because federal regulations governed the alleged breach at issue—overbooking. “The regulations promulgated under the ADA, which are incorporated as part of the contract, provide the procedure and remedy in the event a passenger is denied boarding but offered specified accommodations, and therefore preclude the additional remedies [the plaintiff] has pursued in state court.” Thus, a defendant airline’s need to rely upon laws or principles outside the parties’ contract may also result in preemption.

That was not the case, however, in Travel All Over The World. Although no party asserted an equitable principle in the case, the defendant asserted preemption of a breach of contract claim because the conduct at issue—bumping passengers on overbooked flights—was highly regulated under federal law. The defendant argued that under Wolens, “privately ordered obligations” encompassed only those contractual obligations relating to rates, routes, or services that were not heavily regulated under federal law. The court rejected the defendant’s argument, holding that the existence of federal regulations is not determinative of whether a State has “enacted or enforced” a law. Accordingly, there appears to be a conflict in the courts as to whether reference to federal regulations on the contractual act at issue will result in preemption. Under Comair and Black, in the Fourth Circuit and Texas Supreme Court, respectively, the ADA preempted contract claims where the defendant/airline’s actions were proscribed by federal regulations. To the contrary, under Travel All Over the World, in the Seventh Circuit, the existence of federal regulations prescribing the defendant/airline’s actions did not necessarily result in preemption. The only apparent difference in these cases is that Travel All Over the World involved a plaintiff travel agency, while the other cases involved plaintiff passengers.

Contract Remedies Preempted Under the ADA

Preemption under the ADA may not reach the entirety of a claim, but can limit the remedies otherwise available in contract cases. For example, as set forth in West, the Ninth Circuit did not allow punitive damages where a contract claim survives preemption, reasoning that “punitive damages by their very nature seek to punish the entity against whom they are awarded . . . . Overbooking and bumping are accepted forms of price competition and reduction in the deregulation period, thus any law or regulation which results in penalizing airlines for these practices is preempted . . . .” In Travel All Over The World, the Seventh Circuit also addressed the plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages and held “[r]ather than merely holding parties to the terms of a bargain, punitive damages represent an ‘enlargement or enhancement’ [of the bargain] based on state laws or policies external to the agreement.’” The Second Circuit held punitive damages preempted holding “punitive damage awards could have a dramatic impact on a carrier’s liability and seriously enlarge a shipper’s remedy.” And, in Deerskin Trading Post, Inc., the Northern District of Georgia court held that claims for punitive damages and injunctive relief based upon breach of contract were preempted: “the extraordinary award of injunctive relief would remove a contract claim from the realm of ‘routine breach of contract actions.’”

Only this year, a California court again addressed the applicability of the ADA’s preemption provision to claims for punitive damages. The court addressed the issue of whether the ADA “precludes a state court from awarding any relief greater than was expressly and contractually negotiated between the carrier and the shipper.” Agreeing with the West court, the court held that the plaintiff’s punitive damages claim was preempted because the purpose of punitive damages is a public one, to protect the public from wrongdoing. “‘Such damages are never recoverable’ in routine breach of contract cases.” Instead, punitive damages are imposed by law — state law — not bargained for by the contracting parties and, as such, are preempted.

Conclusions

As the case law reflects, there is no bright line to determine which contract claims are preempted under the ADA and which are not. A party arguing preemption must first determine whether adjudication of the contract claim can be done without reference to laws external to the parties’ agreement. Even then, based upon cases like Travel All Over The World, the contract claims may survive. The question is clearer when it comes to the remedies available to a plaintiff—punitive damages and injunctive relief are preempted.

In determining whether a contract claim, or a portion thereof, is preempted under the ADA, courts will make two basic inquiries: does the contract claim relate to an airline’s rates, routes, or services, and will enforcement of the claim constitute the State’s enactment or enforcement of a law. If the court answers both of these inquiries in the affirmative, a party’s contract claim is likely preempted under the ADA. Until the Supreme Court again addresses these issues, courts will continue to struggle with these inquires.

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See Matthew J. Kelly, Comment, Federal Preemption By the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978: How Do State Tort Claims Fare? 49 CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 873 (2000).
Morales v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 504 U.S. 374, 378 (1992); American Airlines, Inc. v. Wolens, 513 U.S. 219 (1995).
49 U.S.C. § 41713(b)(1). This clause was originally enacted at 49 U.S.C. § 1305(a). As part of the recodification in 1994, Congress changed the phrase “rates, routes, or services” to “price, route, or service” but it did not intend its modification to substantively change the existing law. This article retains the “rates, routes, or services” phraseology consistent with much of the case law. See Historical and Statutory Notes, 49 U.S.C. § 41713 (West 1997); see also Wolens, 513 U.S. at 223 (“Congress intended the revision to make no substantive change.”).
Morales v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 504 U.S. 374 (1992).
Id. at 379. The air Travel Industry Enforcement Guidelines are set forth in the appendix to the Morales decision.
Id. at 379.
Id. at 384.
Id. at 388.
Id. at 390.
American Airlines, Inc. v. Wolens, 513 U.S. 219 (1995).
Id. at 224.
Id. at 224-25.
Id. at 225.
Id. at 226.
Id. at 228.
Id. at 222, 228-29.
Id. at 228-29.
Id. at 233.
Id. at 233 n.8 (ellipses in original) (citing Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae at 28).
While it would seem obvious that the ADA’s preemption provision only applies to aircraft, that is not true. For instance, the ADA applied in one case to services provided by the airline’s ground shipping vehicles. One of the air carrier’s trucks was hijacked, including a package containing watches shipped pursuant to a contract between the carrier and the sender. The sender asserted a breach of contract claim and the court applied the ADA even though the services at issue related to the air carrier’s ground, not air, transportation. Wolens, 513 U.S. 233. In fact, claims need not be asserted against an airline for the ADA’s preemption prevision to apply. See, e.g., Lyn-Lea Travel Corp. d/b/a First Class Itn’l Travel Mgmt. v. American Airlines, Inc., 283 F.3d 282, 287 n.8 (5th Cir. 2002) (ADA preemption is not limited to claims brought directly against air carriers”) (citing Huntleigh Corp. v. La. State Bd. of Private Sec. Exam’rs, 906 F. Supp. 357, 362 (M.D. La. 1995); Continental Airlines, Inc. v. American Airlines, Inc., 824 F. Supp. 689, 696-97 (S.D. Tex. 1993); and Marlow v. AMR Servs. Corp., 870 F. Supp. 295, 297-98 (D. Haw. 1991)).
Morales, 504 U.S. at 390.
See, e.g., Northwest Airlines, Inc. v. Duncan, 531 U.S. 1058 (2000) denying cert, (dissenting opinion of Justice O’Connor, joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice Thomas); Alshrafi v. American Airlines, Inc., 321 F. Supp. 2d 150, 159 (Dist. Mass. 2004).
Duncan, 531 U.S. at 1058.
Duncan v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 208 F.3d 1112, 1114-1115 (2000) (quoting Charas v. TWA, 160 F.3d 1259 91998) (en banc)).
Hodges v. Delta Airlines, Inc., 44 F.3d 334, 336 (5th Cir. 1995); Smith v. Comair, 134 F.3d 254, 259 (4th Cir. 1998); and Travel All Over the World, Inc. v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 73 F.3d 1423, 1433 (7th Cir. 1996).
All World Professional Travel Services v. American Airlines, 282 F. Supp. 2d 1161, 1169 (C.D. Cal. 2003) (The plaintiff’s contract claim as stated did not related to the airline’s rates, routes, or services and as such, was not preempted by the ADA).
See, e.g., All World Professional Travel Servs., 282 F. Supp. 2d at 1170, n.8 (citing to several cases analyzing the relationship of claims to an airlines “rates” or “prices,” including In re Air Transportation Excise Tax Litigation, 37 F. Supp. 2d 1133, 1140 (D. Minn. 1999) (“finding that contract and tort claims, including unjust enrichment, were not preempted because they did not ‘affirmatively prescribe (or proscribe) the airlines’ conduct in a way that impedes competition or adversely impacts the economics of the airline industry’” Accordingly, the court did not reach the issue of whether the equitable claims equated to the State’s enactment of a law.); Taj Mahal Travel v. Delta Airlines, 164 F.3d 186, 188, 195 (3d Cir. 1998) (“holding that tort claims were not preempted because the application of state law in the circumstances did not frustrate Congressional intent nor impose a state utility-like regulation on the airlines”); Travel All Over the World, 73 F. 3d at 1433 (“holding that the contract, slander and defamation claims were not preempted because the contract claim fell within the Wolens exception and the slander and defamation claims did not have a significant effect on airline rates, routes, or services”).
See, e.g., Osband v. United Airlines, Inc., 981 P.2d 616, 620 (Colo. App. 1998).
See, e.g., Aquino v. Asiana Airlines, Inc., 105 Cal. App. 4th 1272 (2003) (breach of contract claim not preempted because no state policy involved); Levy v. Delta Airlines , 2004 WL 2222149 (S.D.N.Y. 2004) (holding a routine breach of contract claim survived preemption but failed on the merits); Watkins v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 2005 WL 318578 (Pa. Sup. Ct. 2005) (same); see also 149 A.L.R. FED. 299 (2005). But see Leonard v. N.W. Airlines, Inc., 605 N.W.2d 425, 431 (Minn. Ct. App. 2000) (breach of contract claim preempted where state laws or policies “enlarged or enhanced” a passenger’s rights); Boon Ins. Agency, Inc. v. Am Airlines, Inc., 17 S.W.3d 52, 58-59 (Tex. App. 2000) (breach of contract claim regarding a reissue fee was preempted where party relied on state law to modify the contract); Howell v. Alaska Airlines, Inc., 99 Wash. App. 646 (2000) (breach of contract claim based upon airline’s refusal to provide a refund for a nonrefundable ticket was preempted because of reference to state laws).
Osband, 981 P.2d at 622.
Id. at 622.
Monzigo v. Alaska Air Group, Inc., 2005 WL 1060551, No. S-11240 (Alaska May 6, 2005). This opinion has not been released for publication in the permanent law reports. Until released, it is subject to revision or withdrawal.
Id. at *5.
Lyn-Lea Travel Corp. d/b/a First Class Itn’l Travel Mgmt. v. American Airlines, Inc., 283 F.3d 282 (5th Cir. 2002).
Id. at 289-90.
Id. at 289.
Id. citing Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 164 (1979).
Id. at 290.
Osband, 981 P.2d at 623.
Id.
SVT Corp. v Federal Express Corp, 1997 U.S. DIST. LEXIS 7286; 1997 WL 285051 (N.D. Cal. 1997), aff’d 1998 U.S. APP. LEXIS 17791 (9th Cir. 1998); see also Breitling, 45 F. Supp. 2d 179 at 186 (quoting SVT Corp. ) (“The deviation doctrine ‘entitles the shipper to rescission of the contract’ when ‘a carrier deviates from the performance contracted for to such an extent as to completely change the level of risk and the terms of the contract.’”).
Breitling U.S.A. v. Federal Express Corp., 45 F. Supp. 2d 179 (D. Conn. 1999).
Id. at 186-187.
Williams v. Federal Express Corp., 1999 WL 1276558 (C.D. Cal. 1999).
Id. at 5.
Smith v. Comair, Inc. et al., 134 F.3d 254 (4th Cir. 1998).
Id. at 258 (italics added); see also Lyn-Lea Travel Corp., 283 F.3d at 288-289 (“The existence of federal regulations regarding airline CRS [computer reservation system] services and the legislative history of the ADA provide additional support for the conclusion that the ADA preempts Lyn-Lea’s claims. . . . ‘Federal efforts to regulate CRS services and uses clearly demonstrate that the preemption statute should be applied to eliminate the risk that CRS providers could be subject to varying state standards of unlawful competition.’”).
Delta Air Lines, Inc. v. Black, 116 S.W.3d 745, 755 (Tex. 2003).
Id.
Travel All Over The World, Inc. v. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 73 F. 3d 1423 (7th Cir. 1996).
Id. at 1432.
See id. at 1432 n.9 (“Saudia [the airline] concludes that because the regulations at 14 C.F.R. Pt. 250 allow breach of contract claims by confirmed passengers who were bumped, these regulations preempt breach of contract claims by travel agencies whose clients were bumped. See 14 C.F.R. s 250.9. However, Saudia has failed to demonstrate a conflict between these regulations and state laws that allow travel agencies to sue for an independent breach of contract by an airline.”).
West v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 995 F.2d 148 (9th Cir. 1993).
West, 995 F.2d at 152.
Travel All Over The World, Inc., 73 F. 3d at 1432, n.8.
Cleveland v. Beltman North American Co., 30 F.3d 373, 379 (2d Cir. 1994).
Deerskin Trading Post, Inc. v. United Parcel Service of America, Inc., 972 F. Supp. 665, 673 (N.D. Ga. 1997).
Id. at 673.
Id. (citing Wolens, 513 U.S. at 232)).
Power Standards Lab, Inc. v. Federal Express Corp., 127 Cal. App. 4th 1039 (March 25, 2005) (Alameda County Superior Court Case No. 841-938-1)
Id. at 1041.
Id. at 1047 (citing WITKIN, SUMMARY, Contracts § 820 at 739 (9th Ed. 1987) (first italics added by court; second italics added).
Id. (comparing punitive damages to conditions implied by law, which are not negotiated by the contracting parties but imposed by state law).