Cases & Deals

Major U.S. airline obtains dismissal with prejudice of "trafficking" claim under the Helms-Burton Act related to partnership involving hotels in Cuba

Client(s) American Airlines Group

Jones Day obtained a ruling of first impression in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which dismissed for lack of Article III standing a Helms-Burton Act lawsuit alleging that American Airlines "trafficked" in property confiscated by the Castro government following the 1959 Cuban Revolution.

The plaintiff alleged that through inheritance he owned a claim to beach front property in Varadero, Cuba, which today is occupied by four European-based resort hotels. The plaintiff claimed American Airlines was "trafficking" in such property, which was allegedly confiscated by the Cuban government in 1959, by, among other things, deriving economic benefits from reservations made at the hotels and resorts through the third-party hotel reservation website. The lawsuit was originally filed in the Southern District of Florida, before being transferred on motion to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. In a ruling of first impression, the court dismissed with prejudice the lawsuit against American Airlines for lack of Article III standing. The case is on appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Glen v. American Airlines, Inc., Nos. 20-10903 (5th Cir.); 4-20-cv-00482 (N.D. Tex.)