She’s Got a Ticket to Ride: The Ninth Circuit’s Determination in Sachs v. Republic of Austria That a Ticket Sale by a Common Law Agent Abrogates a Foreign State-Owned Common Carrier’s Sovereign Immunity
On December 6, 2013, in Sachs v. Republic of Austria, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, held that a foreign state-owned common carrier carries on commercial activity in the United States when it sells rail passes through a United States ticket agent. In so holding, the court expanded the scope of jurisdiction over foreign state-owned entities to include claims arising from transactions with common law agents of foreign states. This Comment argues that the Ninth Circuit correctly applied principles of agency law to foreign state-owned common carriers acting through domestic ticket agents, and that, on review, the U.S. Supreme Court should hold the same. Further, this Comment urges Congress to articulate a uniform standard to avoid inconsistencies between the common law in various states.