Maranga v. Abdulmutallab


New York Law Journal


Judge Colleen McMahon

Maranga sued Abdulmutallab, Delta Airlines and Air France-KLM (AF-KLM) for injuries sustained while he helped subdue a terrorist threat on a Dec. 25, 2009, Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. Northwest was at the time a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta. Maranga's lawsuit sought $10 million on grounds that Delta and AF-KLM were negligent "in allowing a bomber to board their aircraft with an explosive device" and causing his injuries. Alleging improper service of process and failure to state a claim, AF-KLM—a Paris-based French holding company for airlines Société Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines—sought the complaint's dismissal. Granting AF-KLM's motion, the court dismissed Maranga's complaint as against AF-KLM. However, granting Maranga's motion for leave to amend, the court permitted Maranga to name Société Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines as defendants. Maranga's negligence claims against Delta and AF-KLM were preempted by the Montreal Convention. Maranga could not state a claim against AF-KLM under the Montreal Convention because AF-KLM was not an airline "carrier" but rather a holding company. It had no involvement in the operation or ticketing of carrier Delta.

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