Rachal v. Allen, No. 22915.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtJONES and COLEMAN, Circuit , and JOHNSON
Citation376 F.2d 999
PartiesHal F. RACHAL and Norman F. Hoffman, individually and as co-partners d/b/a West Texas Flying Service and West Texas Flying Service, Inc., Appellants, v. Billy Joe ALLEN et al., Appellees.
Docket NumberNo. 22915.
Decision Date23 May 1967

376 F.2d 999 (1967)

Hal F. RACHAL and Norman F. Hoffman, individually and as co-partners d/b/a West Texas Flying Service and West Texas Flying Service, Inc., Appellants,
v.
Billy Joe ALLEN et al., Appellees.

No. 22915.

United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit.

April 4, 1967.

Rehearing Denied May 23, 1967.


376 F.2d 1000

Hal Rachal, Midland, Tex., for appellants.

Bessie Margolin, Assoc. Sol., U. S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, D. C., James F. Gruben, Dallas, Tex., Charles Donahue, Sol. of Labor, Robert E. Nagle, Carin A. Clauss, Attys., U. S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, D. C., Major J. Parmenter, Regional Atty., for appellees.

Before JONES and COLEMAN, Circuit Judges, and JOHNSON, District Judge.

JONES, Circuit Judge:

Suit was brought for overtime wages claimed for the period March, 1958,

376 F.2d 1001
through March, 1960, by eight employees of West Texas Flying Service, Inc., a fixed base aeronautics operator engaged in servicing and selling aircraft at two airports in Midland, Texas.1 The plaintiffs' claims are based on 29 U.S.C.A. § 207. The defendants admit they are liable for the amounts claimed unless their operation qualifies for the statutory retail exemption.2

Defendants' business consists of: selling new and used aircraft; repairing aircraft and aircraft radios; selling and installing aircraft radios; selling aircraft parts; selling gasoline and oil to aircraft operators; renting hangar space for parking aircraft on a daily or monthly basis; chartering aircraft for trips of passengers or goods; renting aircraft and pilot service; and giving flight instruction. The defendants serviced all comers, no matter the point of origin or the final destination. Two of defendants' customers were cargo lines operating four-motor aircraft, and gasoline was sold to these customers under contract, the price being slightly less than was paid by others.

The case was previously heard on plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. The parties stipulated that defendants' business is that of a fixed base aeronautics operator and is part of the air transportation industry. The plaintiffs' motion was granted by the trial court on the ground that defendants' operation did not qualify for the retail exemption as a matter of law. Defendants appealed, and this Court reversed, Rachal v. Allen, 5th Cir. 1963, 321 F.2d 449, holding that defendants' business was not outside the scope of the retail exemption as a matter of law and that defendants were entitled to a trial to establish, if they could, facts which would satisfy the statutory requirements for exemption. On the first appeal, the Secretary of Labor filed a brief as amicus curiae urging affirmance of the summary judgment. After remand, a trial was had to a jury with the Secretary of Labor appearing as an intervenor.

The defendants' witnesses separated defendants' sales into the following categories: aircraft sales, aircraft rental, pilot service, instruction, parts sales, shop income, gas and oil sales, hangar storage, miscellaneous sales (sandwiches, soft drinks, charts, etc.), sales of obsolete equipment and income from sales and repair of radios. For each item, division was further made into sales for resale, sales to military aircraft, and sales within the State of Texas. Defendants' witnesses, qualified by the court as experts as to what is recognized as retail in this particular industry, using these categories, testified as to the total amount received in each category for the two years involved, and then stated what part of each item was sold for resale, what part was recognized as retail in the industry, and what part was sold in Texas. All of the sales were made in Texas. Sales to military aircraft were not considered retail, but discount sales of gasoline to private parties were. The Secretary of Labor produced an expert witness, an employee of the Department of Labor, who stated his opinion that sales in defendants' business were not recognized as retail.3

376 F.2d 1002

The jury, answering special interrogatories, found that over 50 percent of the sales were sales in Texas, over 75 percent of the sales were sales not for resale, and over 75 percent of the sales were recognized as retail sales in the industry. The verdict was for the defendants. The trial judge set aside the verdict and gave judgment for the plaintiffs and the Secretary under the belief that the defendants, a fixed base aeronautics operation, did not possess the retail concept required for exemption. Defendants now appeal from the order setting aside the jury's verdict, and plaintiffs cross-appeal the trial judge's denial of the double recovery provided by 29 U.S.C.A. § 216(b).

At trial it was established that defendants leased from the city of Midland the facilities used in their operations; they did not own or operate the airports themselves. Defendants' customers were non-schedule air cargo planes, a few military aircraft, businessmen, pipe-line inspectors (inspecting for private industry), and amateur pilots.

The Secretary of Labor urges that the decision of this Court on the prior appeal in this case is not in conflict with the judgment of the trial court from which this appeal has been taken. The Secretary reads the prior opinion as holding that defendants' operation might be outside the scope of the retail exemption as a matter of law and that development of facts revealing the nature of the business was necessary to make this determination. We disagree with this interpretation. This Court, after a thorough recital of the facts describing defendants' business, stated unequivocally that it was a question of fact whether defendants' sales were recognized as retail in the particular industry. The trier of fact is the jury, and the jury found that defendants' sales were recognized as retail. The jury's determination was based on the testimony of expert witnesses presented by both the defendants and the Secretary.4 Therefore, it seems clear that the decision of the trial court that defendants' business did not possess as a matter of law the requisite retail concept to qualify for the retail exemption directly conflicts with this Court's previous holding that defendants' business was not, as a matter of law, outside the scope of the retail exemption.

When an issue of law is decided by an appellate court on appeal and the case is remanded for trial, the issue decided on appeal is closed to further consideration by the trial court. Fontainebleau Hotel Corp. v. Crossman, 5th Cir. 1961, 286 F.2d 926; 1 Moore, Federal Practice, ¶ 0.40410. Here, the district court, in setting aside the jury's verdict, failed to follow the mandate of this Court, which is the law of the case. See Rexford v. Royal Indemnity Co., 5th Cir. 1954, 215 F.2d 693. Since the judgment of the district court setting aside the verdict is...

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17 practice notes
  • Wirtz v. Keystone Readers Service, Inc., No. 26556.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • November 14, 1969
    ...Works v. Wirtz, 1966, 383 U.S. 190, 86 S.Ct. 737; Wirtz v. Broward Marine, Inc., 5 Cir. 1968, 390 F.2d 788; Rachal v. Allen, 5 Cir. 1967, 376 F.2d 999; Telephone Answering Service, Inc. v. Goldberg, 1 Cir. 1961, 290 F.2d 529; Wirtz v. Office Communications Co., M.D.N.C., 244 F.Supp. 994. In......
  • Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. U.S. E.P.A., No. 72-2145
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • November 11, 1974
    ...161 F.2d 992, 994 (9th Cir. 1947); see FTC v. Texaco, Inc., 393 U.S. 223, 226, 89 S.Ct. 429, 21 L.Ed.2d 394 (1968); Rachal v. Allen, 376 F.2d 999, 1002-1004 (5th Cir. 1967). Under usual circumstances, we would accord great deference' to the interpretation of the EPA, the administrative agen......
  • Futrell v. Columbia Club, Inc., No. IP 69-C-176
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Indiana)
    • August 2, 1971
    ...retail concept is likewise a question of law. Wirtz v. Broward Marine, Inc., 5 Cir., 1968, 390 F.2d 788; Rachal v. Allen, 5 Cir., 1967, 376 F.2d 999; Goldberg v. Sorvas, 3 Cir., 1961, 294 F.2d 841; Goldberg v. Roberts, 9 Cir., 1961, 291 F.2d The question for the Court then is whether the Cl......
  • Pinehurst Airlines, Inc. v. Resort Air Serv., Inc., No. C-77-565-R
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Middle District of North Carolina
    • November 1, 1979
    ...caused it to suffer harm, but rather that the acts of the owners and operators of the Airport damaged its business. Cf. Rachal v. Allen, 376 F.2d 999, 1004 (5th Cir. 1967). 476 F. Supp. 550 Construing the complaint favorably to the plaintiff,5 the Court concludes that the interstate commerc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • Wirtz v. Keystone Readers Service, Inc., No. 26556.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • November 14, 1969
    ...Works v. Wirtz, 1966, 383 U.S. 190, 86 S.Ct. 737; Wirtz v. Broward Marine, Inc., 5 Cir. 1968, 390 F.2d 788; Rachal v. Allen, 5 Cir. 1967, 376 F.2d 999; Telephone Answering Service, Inc. v. Goldberg, 1 Cir. 1961, 290 F.2d 529; Wirtz v. Office Communications Co., M.D.N.C., 244 F.Supp. 994. In......
  • Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. U.S. E.P.A., No. 72-2145
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • November 11, 1974
    ...161 F.2d 992, 994 (9th Cir. 1947); see FTC v. Texaco, Inc., 393 U.S. 223, 226, 89 S.Ct. 429, 21 L.Ed.2d 394 (1968); Rachal v. Allen, 376 F.2d 999, 1002-1004 (5th Cir. 1967). Under usual circumstances, we would accord great deference' to the interpretation of the EPA, the administrative agen......
  • Futrell v. Columbia Club, Inc., No. IP 69-C-176
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Indiana)
    • August 2, 1971
    ...retail concept is likewise a question of law. Wirtz v. Broward Marine, Inc., 5 Cir., 1968, 390 F.2d 788; Rachal v. Allen, 5 Cir., 1967, 376 F.2d 999; Goldberg v. Sorvas, 3 Cir., 1961, 294 F.2d 841; Goldberg v. Roberts, 9 Cir., 1961, 291 F.2d The question for the Court then is whether the Cl......
  • Pinehurst Airlines, Inc. v. Resort Air Serv., Inc., No. C-77-565-R
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Middle District of North Carolina
    • November 1, 1979
    ...caused it to suffer harm, but rather that the acts of the owners and operators of the Airport damaged its business. Cf. Rachal v. Allen, 376 F.2d 999, 1004 (5th Cir. 1967). 476 F. Supp. 550 Construing the complaint favorably to the plaintiff,5 the Court concludes that the interstate commerc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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