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Symbol Searched: FRNT
11/28/95 High Ct Won't Revive Former Frontier Air Employee
WASHINGTON -AP- The Supreme Court has refused to revive a
lawsuit by former employees of Frontier Airlines Inc. (FRNT)
against United Airlines over United's 1986 purchase of Frontier
The court, acting without comment, turned down the former
employees' argument that Colorado courts improperly dismissed
The lawsuit by 775 former Frontier employees was based on an
agreement reached as part of the 1985 purchase of Frontier by
People Express Airlines.
Under the agreement, People Express agreed to operate Frontier
as a separate entity and promised not to sell Frontier's assets
to another airline without the employees' consent.
In July 1986, United bought $50 million of Frontier's assets.
The former Frontier employees sued United in Colorado state
court, saying the purchase improperly interfered with their
contract with People Express. The former employees said the
purchase led to the collapse of Frontier and the loss of their
A Colorado judge dismissed the lawsuit. A state appeals court
agreed, saying the lawsuit was pre-empted by the federal Railway
Labor Act, which says federal courts must interpret claims
involving interpretation of labor contracts. The Colorado
Supreme Court denied review.
In the appeal, acted on yesterday, the former employees'
lawyers said the Colorado rulings left them with no remedy. They
cannot sue in federal court under the Railway Labor Act because
they had no contract with United, the former employees' lawyers
Congress did not intend for the federal labor law to bar such
claims where there is no labor agreement between the two sides,
United's lawyers said the Colorado courts correctly said they
could not judge disputes involving a labor contract. The
possibility that the former employees may be left without a
remedy is irrelevant, they added.
The case is Brooks vs. United Airlines, 95-282.
United Air Lines is a unit of UAL Corp. (UAL).
(END) DOW JONES NEWS 11-28-95