Docket – October 22, 2018

4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Kerpen v. Metro. Wash. Airports Auth. (P), 4th Cir. (Wilkinson) from EDVA at Alexandria (Cacheris).

The district court didn’t err in dismissing the appellants’ various constitutional and statutory challenges to Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority’s ability to use toll revenues to fund projects enhancing access to Dulles airport.

The Authority’s structure doesn’t violates the non-delegation principle because it exercises no power assigned elsewhere by the Constitution. The Authority is not a private entity but a public body that may lawfully exercise governmental power. There’s also nothing inherently federal about the operation of commercial airports; National and Dulles are the only major commercial airports that have been federally operated.

The Authority also doesn’t violate the Guarantee Clause of the U.S. Constitution because MWAA does not deny any state a republican form of government. In Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, voters are free to elect their political leaders, and those political leaders are free to set their legislative agendas.

The Authority’s use of toll revenues to finance construction of a metro line connecting the airport to Washington, D.C. in no way violates its lease terms. There’s no basis in law for finding that the dedicated funding mechanism here was impermissible.

Affirmed.

U.S. District Court – Virginia Eastern

Self-Insured Servs. Co. v. Panel Sys. Inc., EDVA at Richmond (Novak).

Where the parties’ contract for health-care-plan administration provided that Iowa law would control issues of contract interpretation and validity, the provision did not mean that all contract-related tort claims would be governed by Iowa law. Under Virginia’s choice-of-law rules, tort claims apart from issues of contract interpretation and validity are governed by the law of the “place of the wrong.”

Here, the place of the alleged wrong was Virginia. Virginia doesn’t permit tort claims arising solely out of breached contractual duties, some some counterclaims are dismissed.

Plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings granted in part and denied in part.



Categories: Daily Dockets

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