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TODD v. NORTHWEST AIRLINES

January 28, 1969

FRANKLIN E. TODD, Plaintiff
v.
NORTHWEST AIRLINES, INC., Defendant


Lindberg, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: LINDBERG

LINDBERG, District Judge:

This is an action brought by plaintiff, Franklin E. Todd, a flight engineer formerly employed by the defendant, Northwest Airlines, seeking to set aside an arbitration order by the System Board of Adjustment. Specifically, the plaintiff asks this court to set aside an order of the System Board entered September 28, 1964, which affirmed the defendant's termination of plaintiff's employment on the grounds that the plaintiff "influenced and encouraged the first pilot and other crew members to fly flight NO27 of January 1, 1964, at a time when he had good reason to believe the first pilot should not take out the flight in the interest of public safety."

 Plaintiff also seeks contract damages because of an alleged wrongful discharge and alleged breach of employment contract by the defendant.

 After discovery and pretrial conferences a pretrial order was entered (referred to as Pretrial Order No. 1) for the purpose of submitting the case upon motions of both parties for summary judgment on the issue of whether or not the award of the System Board of Adjustment should be set aside. For the purpose of this memorandum opinion it will be helpful to set forth the pretrial order verbatim:

 "Pursuant to Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and in accordance with the pretrial conference held on June 14, 1968, the following formulation of issues is herein set forth:

 "I. Jurisdiction

 "Without defendant's waiving its contention that this Court does not have jurisdiction to hear this matter for the reasons hereinafter set forth in defendant's Contentions of Law, the parties agree that:

 "1. The plaintiff is a citizen of the State of Washington and was formerly employed by the defendant as a flight engineer.

 "2. The defendant is a Minnesota corporation with principal offices in Minneapolis St. Paul, is engaged in the business of an interstate air carrier and does business in the State of Washington.

 "3. The damages sought by the plaintiff exceed $10,000 exclusive of interest and costs.

 "4. Plaintiff seeks a review of a System Board of Adjustment Order entered September 28, 1964, which affirmed the defendant's termination of plaintiff's employment. This court's review of the Adjustment Board Order is governed by Sections 153, 181 and 184 of the Railway Labor Act. 45 USCA § 153, 181, 184.

 "II. Admitted Facts

 "1. On or about February 28, 1964, and prior thereto, plaintiff was employed as a flight engineer for Northwest Airlines, Inc.

 "2. Northwest Airlines, Inc. had entered a collective bargaining agreement with the International Association of Machinists for and on behalf of flight engineers. Said contract was for the benefit of plaintiff and granted rights of tenure and seniority to plaintiff.

 "3. On or about February 28, 1964, defendant terminated plaintiff's employment with Northwest Airlines, Inc.

 "4. The collective bargaining agreement hereinabove referred to contained certain grievance procedure in the event of Company-imposed discipline on plaintiff. All of the conditions precedent to invoking the grievance procedure were met by plaintiff or his representatives.

 "5. On August 18, 19 and 20, 1964, a grievance hearing was held in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, before a System Board of Adjustment duly impaneled under the aforesaid agreement. The Company charges filed against the plaintiff were:

 
"'A. He served as a crew member on Flight NO27 of January 1, 1964, having used alcoholic beverages during the twenty-four hour period immediately preceding the departure time of Flight NO27 of January 1, 1964.
 
"'B. Further, he influenced and encouraged the first pilot and other crew members to fly Flight NO27 of January 1, 1964, at a time when he knew of the physical deficiency of the first pilot assigned to the flight. '"

 "6. On September 28, 1964, the System Board of Adjustment rendered its award against the plaintiff, sustaining the Company's ...


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