United States District Court, D. Columbia.
SYED M. ARIF NAQVI, Plaintiff,
TURKISH AIRLINES, INC., Defendant
Decided February 22, 2015.
SYED M. ARIF NAQVI, Plaintiff, Pro se, Fairfax, VA.
For TURKISH AIRLINES, INC., Defendant: Gary L. Halbert, LEAD ATTORNEY, HOLLAND & KNIGHT LLP, Washington, DC; Sarah G. Passeri, PRO HAC VICE, HOLLAND & KNIGHT, LLP, New York, NY.
RICHARD J. LEON, United States District Judge.
Pro se plaintiff Syed M. Arif Naqvi (" plaintiff" ) commenced this action against defendant Turk Hava Yollari (" defendant" ) on June 4, 2014 in the District of Columbia Superior Court, seeking damages for breach of contract and discrimination. See Notice of Filing Am. Exh., Exh. A (Superior Court Compl.) (" Compl." ) [Dkt. #4-1]. Defendant removed the action to this Court on June 25, 2014. See Notice of Removal [Dkt. #1]. Now before the Court is defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint. See Turk Hava Yollari A.O.'s Mot. to Dismiss Pl.'s Compl. (" Def.'s Mot." ) [Dkt. #10], Upon consideration of the parties' pleadings, relevant law, and the entire record herein, the Court GRANTS defendant's Motion to Dismiss and DISMISSES this action.
On February 13, 2014, plaintiff and his wife traveled from Washington Dulles International Airport to Istanbul, Turkey on a flight operated by defendant. See Compl. ¶ 7. During check-in, plaintiff requested exit row seating. See Compl. ¶ 7. Mr. Oyat (" Oyat" )--a representative of defendant--informed plaintiff that all of the exit row seats, which were reserved for " Elite Class" passengers, had already been assigned. See Compl. ¶ 8. Oyat also allegedly explained that only passengers taller than six feet were assigned to exit rows, and that plaintiff, at six feet tall, was ineligible for such seating. See Compl. ¶ 8. Plaintiff initially responded by demanding the return of his luggage, however--after being offered a seat with " leg space" --plaintiff agreed to board the plane. See Compl. ¶ 9. When plaintiff boarded the plane, he noticed that all of the exit row seats were occupied by passengers who appeared to be of Turkish descent, six of whom were women under six feet. See Compl. ¶ 10. Once seated, plaintiff realized that his seat was not, as Oyat had allegedly promised, a " leg space seat," causing plaintiff great distress. See Compl. ¶ 10. This distress was intensified when the crew allegedly violated airline " safety requirements," by failing to both " provide any information regarding safety"
and to " illuminate the seat belt signs before landing." See Compl. ¶ 12.
Plaintiff claims that defendant's denial of an exit row and " leg space" seat, coupled with the flight staff's purported failure to follow safety protocols, caused him " extreme emotional" distress that manifest in physical malaise and a loss of appetite during the flight. See Compl. ¶ ¶ 11-12. Plaintiff commenced the instant action in D.C. Superior Court on June 4, 2014, alleging breach of contract and discrimination under a kaleidoscope of federal statutes, including 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and sections 41310(a) and 40127(a) of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (" ADA" ). See Compl. ¶ ¶ 15-22. Defendant removed ...