Hawaiian may sue former consultant over secrets
The carrier says Mo Garfinkle abused its confidential files
Hawaiian Airlines is considering suing its former consultant, Mo Garfinkle, alleging he used the carrier's confidential information after he began consulting for Mesa Air Group Inc., the parent of competing interisland carrier go!
Garfinkle, who previously served as a consultant to former Hawaiian Airlines Chief Executive John Adams and current Chairman Larry Hershfield, is one of the principals of Arlington, Va.-based GCW Consulting. Hawaiian filed a motion yesterday in federal Bankruptcy Court requesting a 45-day extension to yesterday's deadline to amend pleadings and add parties to its pending lawsuit against Mesa.
Hawaiian wants additional time to conduct further discovery in the lawsuit. If the court is unwilling to grant the time, Hawaiian said it wants to add GCW as a defendant.
Also yesterday, Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris denied a motion by Mesa to dismiss one count against it in the Hawaiian suit. The Phoenix-based carrier had sought to throw out the count that would require Mesa to turn over all confidential Hawaiian information that Mesa has in its possession. Although Faris denied Mesa's motion, Mesa previously has said it destroyed all such information.
Hawaiian is seeking damages against Mesa for breach of contract for allegedly using confidential information Mesa acquired when it was a bidder for Hawaiian in bankruptcy. A trial on the suit is set for next April. Earlier this week, Hawaiian filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent go! from selling interisland tickets for one year.