Hester v. Vision Airlines, Inc., No. 11-15646 (9th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Appellant, a former pilot for Vision Airlines, sued Vision on behalf of a Class of other pilots and flight crew employees to recover hazard pay, which Appellant and the Class alleged Vision had accepted on their behalf and never paid to them. After nearly two years of discovery disputes between Vision and the Class, the district court sanctioned Vision by striking its answer, entered default judgment against Vision, and held a jury trial to determine damages. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court rejected Vision's arguments that (1) the district court abused its discretion by striking Vision's answer, (2) the claims in the complaint were legally insufficient to support the default judgment, and (3) the district court abused its discretion by certifying the Class. The Court then reversed the order dismissing the Class's claim for punitive damages, holding that the district court erred in dismissing the Class's claim for punitive damages.