Texas is a national and international hub of aviation activity. The following are some of the more notable decisions involving Texas aviation law in the past year. They run the gamut from tort cases to commercial disputes and include a pre-emption issue that has received nationwide attention.
A particularly noteworthy decision applying Texas law, Ray v. American Airlines Inc. , came from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas in April. The suit arose from the now infamous weather delay of an American Airlines flight in Austin in which some passengers were kept on the parked aircraft for more than 11 hours before the flight eventually was canceled. Catherine Ray’s claims against American included false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence, among others, according to the opinion. American moved to dismiss the passenger’s claims on the grounds they were pre-empted by the federal Airline Deregulation Act and the Federal Aviation Act. The court dismissed a number of American’s pre-emption arguments, the opinion noted.
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