Mesa-Hawaiian Trial Update; Judge Rules Mesa Intentionally Destroyed Evidence


Here we go. Here’s the breaking story at the Star-Bulletin.

Yet another person we know who was there in the courtroom today has sent us a note updating us on today’s events. Yes, the story gets even more bizarre as the days go by.

In reading through the notes it appears that Mesa’s attorney informed the court today that it had possession of two hard drives that were supposedly hidden by Mesa CFO Peter Murnane until 9/13 but only disclosed to Hawaiian attorneys and the court this morning as a basis for the judge not to rule on the motion for sanctions, and to delay ruling on the trial.  This goes to the argument that Mesa was trying to show again how they were victimized by their own CFO.

Hawaiian’s attorney Sidney Levinson then apparently pointed out that this stunt was another example of how Mesa was trying to forestall a decision on the motion by only providing evidence to Hawaiian and to the court when it is convenient for them.

Levinson noted that instead of “firing this CFO who was victimizing them,” Mesa put him on paid administrative leave and gave him a “warm pat on the back” in a press release, commending him for his fine work.

Judge Robert Faris denied Mesa attorney Maxwell Blecher’s request not to rule, noting that the discovery deadline had passed and if Mesa could not produce documents that was Mesa’s  fault.

Both sides then made their closing arguments to the judge.

Drumroll please.

And as for the judge’s ruling?

Judge Robert Faris  ruled today that Mesa Air Group did intentionally destroy evidence that could have been used by Hawaiian Airlines in the lawsuit against its competitor.

Faris also found that Mesa executives made their decision to start a their low fare airline in 2006 based on information they got while looking at Hawaiian’s books  — when the airline was still in bankruptcy protection.

The amount being sought by Hawaiian in damages was also disclosed today in court documents. That amount is $173 million.

Hawaiian Airlines is also seeking an injunction that would block Mesa’s interisland carrier, go!, from operating in Hawaii for a year.

Ticker: (Nasdaq:MESA), (AMEX:HA)

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