Friday, December 6, 2013

Antares Aircraft, L.P. v. Federal Republic of Nigeria case brief

Antares Aircraft, L.P. v. Federal Republic of Nigeria case brief summary
999 F.2d 33 (1993)


CASE SYNOPSIS
The Supreme Court (New York) vacated a decision granting a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, 28 U.S.C.S. § 1602 et seq., and remanded for further consideration in appellant aircraft company's action for damages for a purported wrongful detention of its aircraft.

CASE FACTS
Appellant aircraft company's sole asset was an aircraft registered in appellee foreign country. Purportedly because a former lessee of the plane had not paid certain airport fees, the airplane was detained at appellee airport. Appellant sent payments from a New York bank account. Most of the money was sent to appellee foreign country and paid in their currency. The plane was released but it had suffered physical damage as a result of exposure to the elements. Appellant brought an action for damages against appellees for the wrongful detention of its aircraft. The district court granted appellees' motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and the court affirmed.

DISCUSSION

  • The supreme court vacated the court's decision and remanded for further consideration. 
  • Upon reconsideration, the court again affirmed because there was no direct effect of appellees' legally significant conduct in the United States as the aircraft was located in appellee country and the tort occurred in appellee country, and the commercial activity exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA), 28 U.S.C.S. §§ 1602-1611, did not apply.

CONCLUSION
On remand, the appellate court affirmed for a second time the district court's grant of appellee foreign company and airport's motion to dismiss appellant aircraft company's action for wrongful detention of its aircraft. The court found that there was no direct effect of defendant's legally significant conduct in the United States and the statutory commercial activity exception of the Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 did not apply.

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