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Monday, November 19, 2007

Mesa Seeks New Trial

If it wants a new trial, Mesa will have to set up a bond for $98 million to cover the $80 million plus attorney and court costs, according to the  bankruptcy court in Hawaii overseeing the lawsuit Hawaiian Airlines won against the regional airline company. Citing new evidence and errors in court rulings, Mesa filed last week for a new trial. Even so, Judge Robert Faris indicated it is unlikely he would grant it. Mesa said it planned on appealing the judgment won by Hawaiian should it not be granted a new trial.A hearing on the matter has been set for December 13.  Related Story
Mesa had offered $85 million in its bond offer but the judge requires more and Faris will decide on November 19.
The $98 million came from an Hawaiian estimate that it would take three years for the appeal which would mean $10.4 million in interest on top of the $4.9 million in attorney fees to date as well as any new costs resulting for a new trial. Faris, according to the Honolulu Star Bulletin, said three years was a conservative estimate.
Representing Mesa in its continuing fight which could also have an impact on a similar suit filed by Aloha Airlines, scheduled to be heard next spring, will be Daniel Petrocelli, represented Ron Goldman’s family it is suit against O.J. Simpson. as its lead attorney. He also represented Enron CEO Jeffery Skilling and Walt Disney.
Meanwhile, despite his suspended status, former Mesa CFO Peter Murnane was in attendance during the opening of Mesa Air Group’s newest subsidiary KunPeng Airlines, the celebrations for which occurred on October 27, three days before Judge Faris ruled in favor of Hawaiian. Murnane was a member of KunPeng’s original board, according to Mesa, which said he was at there at the request of Shenzhen Airlines, Mesa’s partner in the new Chinese venture. Comments circulated on the web about the fact he was included in pictures of the opening on Mesa’s web site. Murnane was put on administrative leave in September pending an investigation into whether he destroyed documents pertinent to the investigation. As part of its ruling, the bankruptcy court found that he had destroyed documents and he has since been terminated by Mesa. Related Story
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