Mesa To Appeal Damages Ruling

 - November 30, 2007, 6:20 AM

Mesa Air Group has hired celebrated attorney Daniel Petrocelli and asked for a new trial after U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Faris ruled that Mesa must pay Hawaiian Airlines $80 million for misusing proprietary information it obtained during a failed attempt to participate in Hawaiian’s bankruptcy restructuring. Petrocelli, who represented the family of Ron Goldman in the civil trial against O.J. Simpson and defended Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, asked Faris to postpone a $98 million bond obligation recommended for Mesa while the court hears its appeal for a new trial. Mesa cites new evidence found on company computers as the basis for its request.

The latest round of legal wrangling began almost immediately after Faris ruled in favor of Hawaiian on October 31. Earlier that month Faris ruled that Mesa CFO Peter Murnane intentionally destroyed evidence Hawaiian Airlines could have used
to prove Mesa engaged in predatory tactics in launching its Go! subsidiary last year. In his ruling, Faris rejected claims that Murnane accidentally deleted files related to the case while purging his computer of pornographic material. Mesa has since fired Murnane, who the company had placed on administrative leave.