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Martin v. Midwest Express Holdings

February 9, 2009

LOLA F. MARTIN, A MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HER GUARDIAN AD LITEM, CARRIE HECKMAN, AN INDIVIDUAL; MALCOLM D.S. MARTIN, A MINOR, BY AND THROUGH HIS GUARDIAN AD LITEM, CARRIE HECKMAN, AN INDIVIDUAL; WRYE MARTIN; CARRIE HECKMAN, INDIVIDUALS, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
MIDWEST EXPRESS HOLDINGS, INC.; MIDWEST EXPRESS AIRLINES, INC., A/K/A MIDWEST AIRLINES; SKYWAY AIRLINES, A/K/A ASTRAL AVIATION, INC., DEFENDANTS-THIRD-PARTY-PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
EBERHARD BRAUN; FAIRCHILD DORNIER LUFTFAHRT BETEILINGUNGS GMBH; FAIRCHILD DORNIER GMBH; FAIRCHILD DORNIER CORPORATION, THIRD-PARTY-DEFENDANT-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California, D.C. No. CV-03-04796-GAF, Gary A. Feess, District Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kozinski, Chief Judge

FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Argued and Submitted June 6, 2008

Submission Deferred June 6, 2008

Resubmitted February 9, 2009 -- Pasadena, California.

Before: Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Carlos T. Bea, Circuit Judge, and Marilyn L. Huff,*fn1 District Judge.

Opinion by Chief Judge Kozinski;

Concurrence by Judge Bea

OPINION

We consider whether, and to what extent, the Federal Aviation Act, 49 U.S.C. §§ 40101 et seq., preempts an airline passenger's personal injury claims.

Facts

A pregnant woman fell from an airplane's stairs, injuring herself and her fetus. She sued the airline, Midwest Express, and the airplane's manufacturer, Fairchild Dornier and related companies, alleging that the stairs were defectively designed because they had only one handrail. Midwest Express settled the claim for $8 million, and now seeks indemnity from the manufacturer. Relying on Montalvo v. Spirit Airlines, 508 F.3d 464 (9th Cir. 2007), the manufacturer argues that the ...


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