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Ventress v. Japan Airlines

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

March 28, 2014

MARTIN VENTRESS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
JAPAN AIRLINES; JALWAYS CO., LTD.; HAWAII AVIATION CONTRACT SERVICES, INC., Defendants-Appellees

Submitted, Honolulu, Hawai'i: February 20, 2014. [*]

Petition for certiorari filed at, 06/20/2014

Page 717

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 718

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Hawai'i. D.C. No. 1:07-cv-00581-LEK-RLP. Leslie E. Kobayashi, District Judge, Presiding.

Martin Ventress, pro se, Costa Mesa, California, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Steven M. Egesdal and William M. Harstad, Carlsmith Ball LLP, Honolulu, Hawai'i, for Defendants-Appellees.

Before: Michael Daly Hawkins, M. Margaret McKeown, and Carlos T. Bea, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge McKeown; Concurrence by Judge Bea.

OPINION

Page 719

McKEOWN, Circuit Judge:

This aviation case is making its third trip to our court on yet another preemption challenge, namely whether the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (the " FAA" ), 49 U.S.C. § 40103 et seq., preempts pro se plaintiff Martin Ventress's California statutory and common law retaliation and constructive termination claims (the " state law claims" ).[1] Ventress, a former flight engineer, alleges Japan Airlines and Jalways Co., Ltd. (collectively " JAL" )[2] retaliated against him for reporting safety concerns and constructively terminated him for reasons related to his medical and mental fitness.

In the first round of proceedings in this court, we held that his state law claims are not preempted by the Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation (" FCN" ) Treaty. Ventress v. Japan Airlines (Ventress I), 486 F.3d 1111 (9th Cir. 2007). In the second round, we held that the claims are not preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (" ADA" ). Ventress v. Japan Airlines (Ventress II), 603 F.3d 676 (9th Cir. 2010). In Ventress II, we noted that the parties had not addressed whether Ventress's claims are preempted by the FAA, id. at 681, 683, which is now the issue before us in this third appeal. Mindful that the FAA does not preempt all state law tort actions touching air travel, Martin v. Midwest Express Holdings, Inc., 555 F.3d 806, 809 (9th Cir. 2009), we conclude that Ventress's state law claims are preempted because they ...


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