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Court Finds Suit Against Airline Not Preempted

On August 5, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Airline Deregulation Act (ADA) does not preempt plaintiff’s suit against an airline for breach of contract.  In Ginsburg v. Northwest, Inc., plaintiff complained that Northwest Airlines had breached an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing by terminating plaintiff’s membership in the airline’s frequent flier program.  The court closely examined prior Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit precedent in holding that the common law contract claim did not fall within the scope of the ADA preemption provision.