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20 September 20232 minute read

DLA Piper secures litigation win for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

DLA Piper secured a significant litigation victory on behalf of client Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, N.V. (KLM) in a putative ESG class action case in the Southern District of New York.

The plaintiff alleged that KLM’s statement “fly responsibly” and carbon offset program violated New York General Business Law sections 349 and 350 and asserted claims for breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

Before moving to dismiss, the DLA Piper team conducted a factual investigation of the plaintiff’s social media and found evidence on which it made a factual challenge to Article III standing. KLM argued that the plaintiff did not have an injury-in-fact sufficient to confer Article III constitutional standing because she did not choose KLM as the airline she would fly and she did not review the challenged statements before her travel was booked. Instead, she was a chaperone in a school trip and a third-party group travel company, ACIS, decided which airline she flew, booked her ticket and did not inform her of the airline chosen until after she paid for the ticket. 

The judge threw out the plaintif’s complaint that KLM misled consumers about the environmental impact of its flights and said her attorney may be sanctioned as the claims in the complaint are "demonstrably false."

The DLA Piper team included partners Keara Gordon and Colleen Carey Gulliver (both in New York) and associates Caleb Roche (New York) and Haley Torrey (Philadelphia).