Daily Archives: April 26, 2013

Former Navy Pilot Wins Pro Se Appeal: Triable Issue of Fact Existed re Enforceability of Saudi Arabian Forum Selection Clause

Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB.

Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, the Ninth Circuit issued a per curiam opinion in Petersen v. Boeing Company, No. 11-18075, __ F.3d __ (9th Cir. Apr. 26, 2013).  Plaintiff Robin P. Petersen is a former Navy pilot recruited to work in Saudi Arabia for Boeing International Support Services.  Plaintiff alleged he was required to sign a preliminary employment agreement that did not contain a forum selection clause, but that on arrival in Saudi Arabia, he was forced to sign a second employment agreement—which he was not given time to read and which he was told he must sign or else return immediately to the United States at his own expense. The agreement contained a forum selection clause requiring any contractual disputes to be resolved in the Labor Courts of Saudi Arabia.  Petersen alleged he signed the second agreement without reading it, his passport was then confiscated, and he was effectively imprisoned in his housing compound.

Plaintiff submitted evidence that he could not afford to travel to Saudi Arabia for litigation, that he was afraid to return there because he had been kept a virtual prisoner during his employment, and that his ability to obtain a fair trial there was in question because he was a foreigner, an employee challenging a powerful employer, and a non-Muslim.  

The district court dismissed on the basis of the forum selection clause without holding an evidentiary hearing as to whether Petersen was induced to assent to the forum selection clause through fraud or overreaching.

The Ninth Circuit panel held that the evidence submitted and the allegations made by Petersen were more than sufficient to create a triable issue of fact as to whether the forum selection clause at issue is enforceable, and reversed the district court.

Judges & Attorneys

Circuit Judges Harry Pregerson, Stephen Reinhardt, and William A. Fletcher.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, Chief District Judge Roslyn O. Silver, Presiding.

Robin P. Petersen, pro se, Warner Robins, Georgia, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Geoffrey M.T. Sturr, Thomas L. Hudson, and Kathleen Brody O’Meara, Osborn Maledon, P.A., Phoenix, Arizona, for Defendants-Appellees.

By CHARLES H. JUNG

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Fourth District Issues Limitations Opinion Regarding Internal Workers’ Compensation Fraud Investigations

English: Image is similar, if not identical, t...

English: Image is similar, if not identical, to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation patch. Made with Photoshop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Court of Appeal for the Fourth District today issued an opinion in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation v. State Personnel Board (Moya), Case No. Cite as D061653, __ Cal. App. 4th __ (4th Dist. April 26, 2013).  The court considered whether the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act, Gov. Code § 3300 et seq., excepts internal workers’ compensation fraud investigations from the one-year limitations period established in section 3304, subdivision (d)(1).  The court concluded that it does and affirmed the judgment.

Judges & Attorneys

Presiding Justice Judith McConnell delivered the opinion for the court, with Associate Justices James A. McIntyre and Joan Irion concurring.

Appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court of Imperial County, Judge Donal B. Donnelly.

Michelle L. Hoy and Rudy E. Jansen for Real Party in Interest and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Alicia M. B. Fowler, Senior Assistant Attorney General, and Chris A. Knudsen, Deputy Attorney General, for Plaintiff and Respondent California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

By CHARLES H. JUNG

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