Hogan Lovells Obtains Motion to Dismiss on Behalf of Airbus
08 October 2010
HOUSTON, TX, 8 October 2010 – On 4 October 2010, lawyers from Hogan Lovells US LLP obtained an order of dismissal on grounds of forum non conveniens on behalf of client Airbus S.A.S. (Airbus) in connection with the crash of Air France Flight 447. The order of dismissal terminates all litigation in the United States, including claims by plaintiffs from a dozen foreign countries, which were originally filed in Chicago, Houston, Miami, and San Francisco and consolidated for pre-trial proceedings by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
Following a hearing on 24 September 2010, The Honorable Charles R. Breyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the private and public interest factors favored dismissal to France, since witnesses and relevant evidence were primarily located in France, including key evidence that was unavailable in the U.S.; the accident was the subject of several French investigations; and there was a likelihood that French law would apply.
Judge Breyer also agreed with Airbus that France was a better forum for the resolution of plaintiffs' claims because all parties could seek damages from Air France there. Finally, Judge Breyer even agreed that dismissal was appropriate with respect to the two plaintiffs who were U.S. citizens, even though their decision to sue in the United States was entitled to additional deference.
Houston partner Thad Dameris led the Hogan Lovells team, and Houston partners Bruce Oakley and Trevor Jefferies; Silicon Valley partner Norman Blears; Washington, D.C. partner David Weiner; and Houston associates Christopher Odell, Joshua Newcomer, and Grace Ho also worked on the matter.
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