The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today released an opinion in GUPTA v. THAI AIRWAYS INTERNATIONAL, LTD., No. 04-56389, a diversity appeal. The panel consisted of Eugene E. Siler, Jr., A. Wallace Tashima, and Carlos T. Bea, Circuit Judges.
BEA, Circuit Judge:
Thai Airways, International (”Thai Airways”) appeals from the district court’s order denying Thai Airways’ motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1). Thai Airways claims the district court erred in refusing to recognize the preclusive effect (”res judicata“) of an earlier order dismissing, under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (”FSIA” or “Act”), 28 U.S.C. Â§Â§ 1330, 1602 et seq., an identical action brought by Gupta. That California order of dismissal was not appealed, and is now final. We raised the issue of jurisdiction during oral argument sua sponte and asked the parties to submit briefing on the discrete issue whether this court has jurisdiction to consider the district court’s holding that res judicata does not apply in this case. We conclude that we have jurisdiction, and we reverse. I. Subir Gupta, Plaintiff-Appellee, was scheduled to fly from Bangkok to Los Angeles. When Gupta attempted to board the plane bound for Los Angeles, Thai Airways employees refused to allow Gupta to board because they determined his United States Visa was invalid. Gupta claims the employees “subjected him to unwarranted accusations of fraud after [he] presented a valid and current U.S. Visa.” Gupta was unable to fly to Los Angeles on this date and claims he missed a lucrative business meeting. Gupta timely filed a complaint in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, alleging Thai Airways employees . . .
TASHIMA, Circuit Judge, dissenting:
The majority finds appellate jurisdiction in this case only by mistakenly assuming that if any issue decided by the district court is subject to interlocutory appeal, any other issue decided in the same order can also be reached on interlocutory appeal. Because I disagree and would dismiss this interlocutory appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction over the limited issues raised and not reach the merits, I respectfully dissent. 13We say nothing about whether Gupta can raise his claims against Thai Airways where his claims are not subject to the FSIA. 14Having so determined, we need not address Thai Airways’ claim that Gupta’s federal court action is barred under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. . . .