Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

CHRISSAFIS v. CONTINENTAL AIRLINES

September 30, 1996

CATHERINE CHRISSAFIS, Plaintiff,
v.
CONTINENTAL AIRLINES, INC., and JOYCE BURGESS, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAMS

 Plaintiff Catherine Chrissafis filed this suit against Continental Airlines, Inc. ("Continental") and Continental employee Joyce Burgess. Chrissafis's complaint alleges false arrest, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and breach of contract. The court is vested with jurisdiction over this case based upon diversity of citizenship pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Defendants have moved under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For the reasons stated below, defendants' motions are denied.

 Background

 The following facts are taken from the complaint. Chrissafis, a New Jersey resident, purchased a round-trip airline ticket from Continental to transport her from Newark, New Jersey to Chicago, Illinois and then back to Newark. On July 4, 1994, after spending time in Chicago, Chrissafis's friend drove her to O'Hare International Airport where she boarded Continental flight number 1275 for her return trip. Upon taking her seat, Chrissafis realized that she mistakenly had brought her friend's car keys aboard the aircraft with her.

 Chrissafis could see through the airplane window that her friend was still in the boarding area in the terminal. In an attempt to return the keys, Chrissafis left her seat and went to the front of the plane where she asked a flight attendant for permission to deplane. The flight attendant told Chrissafis that she could return the keys if she did so quickly because the flight was about to depart. As Chrissafis proceeded up the ramp to the terminal, another Continental employee stopped her and asked where she was going. After Chrissafis explained the situation, the employee agreed with the flight attendant's instruction and told Chrissafis that she could return the keys and reboard the aircraft. Chrissafis, therefore, continued up the ramp back to the boarding area where her friend was waiting.

 At the end of the ramp, the door to the waiting area was open. As Chrissafis stepped through the door, she waved to her friend and told him to come pick up his keys. As her friend approached, Continental employee Burgess approached Chrissafis and demanded to know what she was doing. Chrissafis explained that two Continental employees had given her permission to return the keys to her friend and reboard the aircraft. Nevertheless, Burgess closed the door to the plane, leaving Chrissafis in the waiting area. Despite Chrissafis's protestations, Burgess refused to allow Chrissafis to reboard the flight.

 As Burgess leaned to lock the door to the aircraft, her forearm collided with Chrisaffis's forearm. At that point, Burgess declared that she was going to call the police and have Chrissafis arrested. As Burgess called the police, one of the Continental employees who had allowed Chrissafis to exit the aircraft opened the gateway door from the other side. That employee instructed Chrissafis to follow her back on to the aircraft, which Chrissafis did.

 Burgess objected and followed Chrissafis and the Continental employee down the ramp to the airplane. Once aboard the airplane, both Chrissafis and Burgess told their stories to the pilot. The pilot instructed Chrissafis to retrieve her carry-on belongings and exit the plane. Chrissafis complied with the pilot's instructions.

 By the time Chrissafis returned to the boarding area, four Chicago police officers had arrived. Burgess told the police officers her version of what happened and Chrissafis was arrested for battery. Chrissafis was placed in a holding cell at O'Hare and then transported to a Chicago police precinct where officers photographed and fingerprinted her. Chrissafis was then strip-searched and incarcerated in a cell at the police station. Chrissafis remained incarcerated for several hours until bail could be posted.

 On August 15, 1994, a hearing was held on the criminal complaint filed by Burgess. Chrissafis retained counsel, returned to Chicago, and appeared at the hearing. Burgess did not appear at the hearing and the court dismissed the battery charge.

 Motion to Dismiss

 A court may dismiss a complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) only if it is clear that no relief is possible under any set of facts that could be established consistent with the allegations. Bartholet v. Reishauer A.G., 953 F.2d 1073, 1078 (7th Cir. 1992). All well-pleaded facts in the complaint are taken as true and all inferences are drawn in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Dawson v. General Motors, 977 F.2d 369, 372 (7th Cir. 1992).

 Analysis

 Defendants Continental and Burgess move to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that state tort and contract claims are preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act ("ADA"), 49 U.S.C. § 41713(b). *fn1" In order to decide the issue, an understanding of the policies underlying the ADA is ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.