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Shipwash v. United Airlines, Inc.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee

June 18, 2014, Filed

No.: 3:13-CV-564-TAV-HBG



This civil action is before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss by Defendant, United Airlines, Inc. [Doc. 6]. Defendant moves the Court, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to dismiss plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Plaintiff has responded to defendant's motion [Doc. 9], and defendant has replied [Doc. 10]. For the reasons set forth below, and after considering the relevant law, the Court will GRANT defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint.

I. Background1

Plaintiff  [**2] booked and paid for his first trip to Hawaii with defendant on May 7,  [*745]  2013 [Doc. 1 ¶ 5]. The trip was scheduled for July 19, 2013, to July 27, 2013 [Id. ¶ 6]. Plaintiff alleges that defendant informed the passengers that they would be able to watch Direct TV during the flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii if they paid a fee of $7.99 [Id.]. Plaintiff asserts that he paid for Direct TV but learned that the television could no longer be watched after approximately twenty minutes into the flight, except for about five movies that were shown [Id.]. According to plaintiff, when he brought this to the attention of a flight attendant, she informed him that he would be refunded [Id.].

Plaintiff states that he arrived at the airport in Hawaii for his return flight on July 27, 2013, about two hours before the flight was scheduled to depart at 9:04 p.m. [Id. ¶ 7]. According to plaintiff, at approximately 8:00 p.m., a gate attendant announced that "the plane [was] having a problem with it's [sic] communications but that problem [was] being worked on and [they would] be boarding shortly" [Id.]. Plaintiff asserts that this statement was false [Id.]. Plaintiff alleges that "[i]nstead of 'boarding shortly,'  [**3] the gate attendant continued to give the same 'speech' every hour or so, for the next 6 hours" [Id. ¶ 8]. Plaintiff states that it was not until about 2:00 a.m., after he and several other passengers had repeatedly asked for information, that they were informed that the flight was canceled [Id.].

Plaintiff further states that he was not allowed to leave the airport and return during the seven hours that his flight was delayed, before being canceled [Id. ¶ 9]. Rather, he was confined to waiting in an area without air-conditioning or a bathroom [Id.]. Plaintiff also states that he was forced to travel back and forth from the waiting room to the bathroom on the first floor, which was difficult for him as a disabled veteran, and he also risked the chance of missing his flight if it was called while he was gone [Id.]. Plaintiff further claims that defendant's employees eventually offered the passengers water, but only initially gave the water to women and children, and the water was given in "very tiny" cups [Id.].

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28 F. Supp. 3d 740 *; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82623 **; 2014 WL 2768692


Prior History: Shipwash v. United Airlines, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198254 (E.D. Tenn., Jan. 10, 2014)


airport, flight, Carriage, passengers, conspiracy, Airlines, misrepresentation, abnormally, fraudulent, deceptive, adhesion, exculpatory, enrichment, pre-empted, aircraft, unconscionable, oppressive, quantum, meruit, unfair, unjust, arbitrate, quotation, retention, Consumer, hiring, ultra-hazardous, unenforceable, conversion, bargained

Civil Procedure, Pleadings, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Antitrust & Trade Law, Consumer Protection, Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practices, State Regulation, Transportation Law, Air & Space Transportation, Airline Deregulation Act, Preemption, Business & Corporate Compliance, Transportation Law, Consumer Protection, Torts, Strict Liability, Abnormally Dangerous Activities, General Overview, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Concerted Action, Civil Conspiracy, Defenses, Elements, Business & Corporate Law, Agency Relationships, Authority to Act, Judicial Officers, Judges, Governments, Courts, Heightened Pleading Requirements, Fraud Claims, Fraud & Misrepresentation, Actual Fraud, Airports, Proof, Violations of Law, Statutes, Rules & Regulations, Negligence, Elements, Breach of Duty, Duty, Causation, Proximate Cause, Gross Negligence, Business Torts, Negligent Hiring, Retention & Supervision, Intentional Torts, Conversion, Contracts Law, Contract Conditions & Provisions, Exculpatory Clauses, Contracts Law, Contract Formation, Types of Contracts, Adhesion Contracts, Defenses, Unconscionability, Commercial Airlines, Ticketing, Quasi Contracts, Remedies, Equitable Relief, Quantum Meruit