Arango v. Guzman Travel Advisors Corp.

621 F.2d 1371 (1980)

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Arango v. Guzman Travel Advisors Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
621 F.2d 1371 (1980)

Facts

Ramiro Arango and his family (plaintiffs) sued Guzman Travel Advisors Corp. (Guzman), Compania Dominicana de Aviacion (Dominicana), and others (defendants) for breach of contract and negligence after a vacation purchased by Arango from Guzman came to an abrupt and premature end. The Arangos arranged travel for their Dominican vacation with Dominicana, which was an airline wholly owned by the government of the Dominican Republic. After arriving in Santo Domingo on a Dominicana flight, the Arangos were denied entry into the Dominican Republic after immigration officials determined that the Arangos were on an official list of “undesirable aliens.” The Arangos were required to leave the country immediately via another Dominicana flight, but the flight schedule did not allow the Arangos to immediately return to Miami. Instead, the Arangos were re-routed through Puerto Rico to Haiti, where they were left for four days to arrange and pay for their own flight back to Miami. After Arango filed his lawsuit, Dominicana removed the action to federal court and moved to dismiss Arango’s complaint on the grounds that Dominicana, as an entity of a foreign sovereign, had sovereign immunity under the Federal Sovereign Immunities Act and that Arango’s complaint stemmed from the state actions taken by the Dominican immigration officials who had denied the Arangos entry, thereby implicating the act-of-state doctrine and shielding Dominicana from the scrutiny of the federal court. The district court granted Dominicana’s motion to dismiss, and the Arangos appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Reavley, J.)

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