|Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg.|
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Discussion: Ginsburg brought suit against Northwest Airlines alleging a breach of contract under the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing when Northwest revoked his WorldPerks membership. The Airline Deregulation Act (ADA), 49 U.S.C. § 41713(b)(1) provides that States "may not enact or enforce a law, regulation, or other provision having the force and effect of law related to a price, route, or service of an air carrier that may provide air transportation..." Based upon this provision, the District Court held that Plaintiffs claim was preempted by the ADA and dismissed the claim. The Ninth Circuit reversed, finding that in the ADA's language or history suggested that Congress intended displace State common law contract claims that do not affect deregulation in more than a "peripheral...manner."
Holding: In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court ruled that the ADA preempts a state-law claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing if it seeks to enlarge the contractual obligations that the parties voluntarily adopt.