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BOYAR v. KOREAN AIR LINES

February 27, 1987

Robert M. Boyar, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Korean Air Lines, Defendant; Evelyn A. Chauncey, as Ancillary Administrator c.t.a. of the Estate of Carol A. Grenfell, Plaintiff, v. Korean Air Lines, Defendant; Evelyn A. Chauncey, as Ancillary Administrator, c.t.a. of the Estate of Neil John Grenfell, Plaintiff, v. Korean Air Lines, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBINSON

 This matter comes before the Court on Defendant KAL's Supplements to its Motion for Entry of Orders of Dismissal. The above-captioned cases are pending in this Court as a result of the shootdown by the Soviets of KAL Flight 007 in 1983. Defendant's supplements once again call into question the scope of the jurisdictional provisions of the Warsaw Convention. *fn1"

 Article 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention provides that:

 
An action for damages must be brought, at the option of the Plaintiff, in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, either before the court of the domicile of the carrier or his principal place of business, or where he has a place of business through which the contract has been made, or before the court at the place of destination.

 Involved in these actions is a determination of the "place of business through which the contract has been made." Whether the United States is an appropriate forum for each case will, of course, turn on its individual facts. Underlying this determination, however, must be the recognition that Article 28 was intended to limit rather than broaden the jurisdiction of the nations adhering to the Warsaw Convention. The facts in all the cases appear to be undisputed.

 Facts

 The Lee Action

 Jeong Bong Lee purchased a ticket in Seoul, South Korea from Northwest Orient Airlines. His trip was to begin and end in Seoul with one intermediate stop in Tokyo and six in the United States. The first two legs of the flight, Seoul-to-Tokyo and Tokyo-to-Los Angeles, were booked on Northwest Orient Airlines. The other segments of the ticket were left open as to date, carrier and flight. Mr. Lee paid the fare for the entire journey in Seoul at the time the ticket was issued.

 On August 30, 1983, the New York office of KAL received a telephone call from a travel agent on behalf of Mr. Lee seeking to book space on that day's flight from New York to Seoul. The reservations agent reserved space for Mr. Lee on Flight 007. KAL did not issue a new ticket at this time because New York-to-Seoul was already listed as the final leg on Mr. Lee's original ticket. For the same reason, no new fare was paid.

 In September, 1983, KAL billed Northwest Orient for Mr. Lee's fare, requesting payment in U.S. dollars. Northwest Orient is incorporated in the United States and has its principal place of business here.

 Neil John Grenfell and Carol A. Grenfell, husband and wife, planned to travel from New York to Seoul on August 14, 1983. KAL issued tickets to them in April, 1983 which listed the August 14 date. These tickets were issued in Hong Kong.

 The Grenfells did not take the August 14 flight. Instead, Mr. Grenfell, who was employed by the Eastman Kodak Company, asked Kodak's International Reservations Agent in Rochester, New York, to change the flight to August 31, 1983. The Kodak travel agent arranged with an independent travel agency in Rochester to book the Grenfells on KAL Flight 007. This travel agent made the reservations by calling a KAL reservations agent in New York City. Once this process was completed, the Kodak travel agent applied stickers to the tickets the Grenfells has been issued in ...


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