Oral arg. – COA – 2/7/18

At 1:30 the COA will hear the case of United Airlines v. Martin McCubbins.  Two Jackson businessmen Martin H. McCubbins and  Tommy Tann flew to Panama to play golf.  Once McCubbins arrived in Panama, it was discovered that his passport, which would expire in less than 6 months, did not meet Panama requirements. He was held overnight in Panama and placed on a return flight the next day.  He blamed, of course, United Airlines whose employees failed to notice that his passport was insufficient for travel purposes.  So he sued United Airlines Corp. (instead of the proper United Airlines, Inc.) located in Illinois.    He ended up getting a default judgment of  $70,000 plus 8% interest per an order entered in November 2015.  In February  2016, United appeared and removed the case to federal court.  The case was remanded and United moved to set aside the default which the court denied.  United appealed arguing that it was not properly served and, assuming it was properly served, the default should have been set aside for good cause.

Meanwhile, McCubbins filed a second identical lawsuit in federal court that is still pending.

United Airlines brief

McCubbins’ brief

United Airlines reply brief

Watch the argument here.

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