The California court yesterday, December 14, dismissed claims made by former Cathay Pacific pilots who had filed for wrongful termination. The court agreed with Cathay Pacific Airways that it is not an appropriate forum to deal with these claims.
The judge ruled that the nine former Cathay Pacific pilots should take their claims to Hong Kong if they wanted to pursue their cases. Under a technicality, three of the nine - who are allegedly California residents - have had their cases stayed. The practical effect of the ruling is that all nine pilots will now need to pursue any claims in the Hong Kong courts.
Cathay Pacific has always believed this cause of action in the California courts was fundamentally misguided. The former company pilots concerned were employed in Hong Kong and, under Hong Kong law, if any dispute needs to be resolved, the Hong Kong courts should deal with it.
Cathay Pacific`s Director Corporate Development, Tony Tyler said: “We welcome the court`s decision that this is, of course, a matter which should be dealt with by Hong Kong`s courts. These former employees who feel they have a case to be heard will now need to have this addressed in Hong Kong, as is fit and proper.
“This is, of course, the second victory for common sense in the past 24 hours. Yesterday, Hong Kong`s High Court refused to grant an injunction sought by First Officer Murray Gardner to block the company implementing new roster practices introduced in August 2001. The decision allows Cathay Pacific to continue to implement roster practice changes introduced in August 2001 (RP 2001) and confirmed the Company`s argument that the issue can only be resolved at a full trial.”