Court set to hear Jeju Air’s request to dismiss wrongful death suit

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The U.S. District Court for the NMI is set to hear Jeju Airline’s motion to dismiss the wrongful death suit filed against it in December.

According to an order from District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona, she will hear Jeju Air’s motion for dismissal on Dec. 29, at 1:30pm.

Jeju Airlines asked the court in a recent motion to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit filed against it by a woman whose mother allegedly died because she wasn’t allowed to board a flight to South Korea, thus missing her medical appointment.

Last week, Jeju Airlines, through David Banes, asked the District Court for the NMI to rule in its favor and dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit complaint in its entirety or, alternatively, issue a judgment limiting its liability.

In response to the lawsuit, Banes said the alleged damages were not proximately caused by any conduct on the part of Jeju Air or any person or entity for whom Jeju Air is responsible.

“Plaintiff’s damages, if any, were caused and brought about by an intervening and superseding cause and were not caused by Jeju or any person or entity for whom Jeju is responsible,” he said.

Banes added that the plaintiff failed to mitigate her damages and therefore is barred from recovering any such damages from Jeju Airlines.

“Jeju did not owe or breach any duty to plaintiff as alleged in the complaint and, therefore, plaintiff is barred from recovering any damages from Jeju,” Banes said.

He added that plaintiff’s alleged injuries were caused by the negligence or culpable conduct of plaintiff and/or her mother and, accordingly, the damages recoverable by plaintiff must be reduced in proportion to the negligence or culpable conduct of plaintiff and/or her mother.

“Plaintiff assumed the risk that her mother would not be successfully treated on time in Korea when she and her mother refused to seek alternate transportation to Korea or explore the possibility of successful treatment elsewhere,” the lawyer said.

Banes said Jeju affirmatively denies it is at fault in any way with respect to the claims alleged or as to the issues raised in the complaint, and therefore is not liable to plaintiff for any damages alleged in the complaint.

Mari Chung Cepeda, the only child of Korea citizen and U.S. permanent resident Tae Hyang Bang, first sued Jeju Airlines in May 2021 in Superior Court but later moved the lawsuit to the District Court for the NMI in June 2021. She is represented by William Fitzgerald.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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