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Donoff v. Delta Air Lines, Inc

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

March 6, 2020, Decided; March 6, 2020, Entered on Docket

Cast No. 18-81258-CV-MIDDLEBROOKS/Brannon

Opinion

ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

The Defendant has moved for Summary Judgment. (DE 220). The motion is fully briefed and I have held oral argument. (DE 236; DE 247).

The Plaintiff's lawyers say that the travel insurance program on [*2]  Delta's website is "an illegal kickback scheme." (DE 202 at 11 ¶ 44, Fourth Amended Complaint). They argue that to grant summary judgment "would encourage [Delta] to defraud . . . customers by having a third-party bagman . . . launder customer money back to [Delta]." (DE 236 at 13, Plaintiffs Response in Opposition to Delta's Motion for Summary Judgment). The Defendant's lawyers, on the other hand, describe the agreement between Delta and Allianz (the travel insurance provider) as "a conventional business relationship." (DE 220 at 6, Delta's Motion for Summary Judgment).

To distinguish between rhetoric and free market economics, it is useful to understand the travel insurance market, the regulatory framework, and cases pertaining to the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice Act ("FDUTPA"), especially those related to pass through charges.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a limited line of insurance. The Florida Insurance Code regulates travel insurance under Section 626.321, which states:

Policies and certificates of travel insurance may provide coverage for risks incidental to travel, planned travel, or accommodations while traveling, including, but not limited to, accidental [*3]  death and dismemberment of a traveler; trip or event cancellation, interruption, or delay; loss of or damage to personal effects or travel documents; damages to travel accommodations; baggage delay; emergency medical travel or evacuation of a traveler; or medical, surgical, and hospital expenses related to an illness or emergency of a traveler.

§ 626.321, Fla. Stat.

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2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41408 *; 2020 WL 1226975

JUDITH MARILYN DONOFF, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. DELTA AIR LINES, INC., Defendant.

Subsequent History: Stay granted by Donoff v. Delta Air Lines Inc., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 9242 (11th Cir. Fla., Mar. 24, 2020)

Prior History: Donoff v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114856 (S.D. Fla., Mar. 12, 2019)

CORE TERMS

travel, customers, consumers, actual damage, insurance policy, premium, regulates, Retailer, unfair, unjust enrichment, purchases, summary judgment, Producer, trip, deceptive, coverage, licensed, products, website, Lines, rates, kickback, damages, summary judgment motion, deceptive act, advertising, cruise, distributors, nonmoving, receives