Airport Security Firm, Huntleigh USA, Asks Federal Court to Order Compensation for Lost Business.
Business Editors/Legal Writers
ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 14, 2003
Constitution Requires "Just Compensation" for Taking of Property
Huntleigh USA Corporation, whose private airport security business was destroyed when the Transportation Security Administration (TSA TSA
See tax-sheltered annuity (TSA). ) took over the task of screening passengers and baggage at U.S.airports, today asked a federal court to order the government to compensate it for the lost business.
Huntleigh President Joseph Tuero explained that the company filed this lawsuit because "the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. Constitution requires the government to pay you for the value of property it takes for public use. In addition, in the Aviation Transportation and Security Act, Congress required that adequate compensation be paid to airport security firms whose contracts were being taken over by the federal government. We are asking the court to enforce the law." Huntleigh's claim, which was filed in the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., states that Huntleigh alone should not be made to bear the financial burden of the government's decision to federalize a function that had been performed by private companies for decades.
"Just Compensation" Required by Constitution
In its filing, Huntleigh says the government effectively confiscated con·fis·cate
tr.v. con·fis·cat·ed, con·fis·cat·ing, con·fis·cates
1. To seize (private property) for the public treasury.
2. To seize by or as if by authority. See Synonyms at appropriate.
adj. Huntleigh's security business - a "taking" in legal parlance. While the government may take private property for public use, the "Takings Clause" of the Fifth Amendment requires payment of "just compensation" to the owner of that property.
"The taking of Huntleigh's security business without any payment is not only unconstitutional, it's unfair," Mr. Tuero said. "Huntleigh built a valuable business over the years and provided a much-needed public service. Then the federal government, through the TSA, took over security screening at airports and essentially put Huntleigh out of business. One day we had a growing, thriving security company - the next day we were being forced to shut down that business. That's not how our country is supposed to work, and that can't be what our Founders or what Congress intended."
The company's filing notes that in a taking case, "the owner must be put in the same position monetarily as it would have occupied if its property had not been taken." Thus far, the government has refused to provide Huntleigh any compensation for the going concern value and good will value of its lost business.
Congress Specifically Backed Compensation, but the TSA Declined
The filing also notes that Congress contemplated in the language of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act The Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA, Pub.L. 107-71 November 19, 2001) was enacted by the 107th United States Congress in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. (passed in November 2001) that adequate compensation would be paid to security firms whose contracts were being taken over by the federal government.
Huntleigh's Long-Standing Relationships with U.S. Air Carriers Promised Continued Success for Huntleigh
Before the federal government took Huntleigh's business, Huntleigh provided airport security services Security services are state institutions for the provision of intelligence, primarily of a strategic nature, but also including protective security intelligence. Examples include the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) in the United Kingdom, and the to eight major airlines and dozens of smaller carriers at nearly three dozen airports across the United States. Huntleigh screened a significant number of all passengers traveling through this country's airports. Given Huntleigh's dedication to passenger safety, excellent reputation in the industry and long-standing relationships with the air carriers, the company had every reason to anticipate continued business success. As a result, in recent years Huntleigh had invested heavily in technology enhancements and employee training.
"Although the government claims that it took over airport screening for the public good, in all fairness, Huntleigh should not be asked to bear the financial burden alone," Mr. Tuero said. "The government took Huntleigh's business, and the Constitution says the government has to pay for it."
St. Louis-based Huntleigh USA was founded in 1970 and was a leading provider of passenger and baggage screening services. It had contracts with eight major airlines and a number of smaller carriers to perform a variety of services at 47 US airports, including Los Angeles International Airport “LAX” redirects here. For other uses, see LAX (disambiguation).
“KLAX” redirects here. For other uses, see KLAX (disambiguation).
Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX, ICAO: KLAX, FAA LID: LAX , LaGuardia Airport, Salt Lake City International Airport Salt Lake City International Airport (IATA: SLC, ICAO: KSLC) is a public airport located in western Salt Lake City, Utah.
The airport is the second largest and one of the fastest growing hubs for Delta Air Lines, as well as hubs for Delta Connection , Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Coordinates:
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (IATA: CLE, ICAO: KCLE, FAA LID: CLE) is a public airport located nine miles (14 km) southwest of the central business district of Cleveland, a city in Cuyahoga , Pittsburgh International Airport “PIT” redirects here. For other uses, see PIT (disambiguation).
Pittsburgh International Airport (IATA: PIT, ICAO: KPIT, FAA LID: PIT , Seattle Tacoma International Airport, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (IATA: ANC, ICAO: PANC, FAA LID: ANC) is the major airport in the United States state of Alaska located 4 miles (6 km) southwest of downtown Anchorage. , Oakland International Airport
Oakland International Airport (IATA: OAK, ICAO: KOAK, FAA LID: OAK), also known as , and George Bush Intercontinental Airport George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IATA: IAH, ICAO: KIAH, FAA LID: IAH) is an international airport in the city of Houston, Texas, United States serving the Greater Houston area. . Its relationships with airlines had been ongoing for as long as 14 years.
The services provided by Huntleigh USA included passenger screening at security checkpoints, security agents, skycap and wheelchair services, ramp agents, baggage x-ray, CTX CTX Context (Management; Tandem)
CTX Centex Corporation (stock symbol)
CTX Corporate Trade Exchange
CTX Cholera Toxin
CTX Clinical Trial Exemption operations (supervisors, operators, and guards), domestic sequencing operation, aircraft search, drug searches, baggage carousel guards, FAA guards, international arrivals guards, and more.
To learn more about Huntleigh USA's suit against the United States, please visit our website at http://www.bork.com/huntleigh. There, you will be able to read and download Huntleigh's complaint and questions and answers about the case.