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Author Topic: A GREAT Win for an Old Guy
Post Captain
Member # 722

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Check this out!!!

Chief Pilot for Bruce Willis and Demi Moore Suffered Age Discrimination and Wrongful Dismissal, Jury Says
Monday December 12, 7:58 pm ET
Verdict of $63,899,000.00 Awarded to Captain Doyle D. Baker in Suit Against Luxury Air Carrier PrivatAir

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- After a three week trial, a 12-person jury returned a total verdict of $63,889,000 in Los Angeles Superior Court today, finding that the luxury air charter company PrivatAir had unlawfully discriminated against Captain Doyle Baker by using his age as a motivating factor in his termination. The jury also found that PrivatAir and flight crew members had defamed and intentionally inflicted severe emotional distress on Captain Baker, who served as chief pilot to movie stars Demi Moore and Bruce Willis during his employment at PrivatAir.

"This verdict should remind all employers that refusing to treat older employees fairly can be very costly," said Michael L. Kelly, the lawyer who represented Captain Baker at trial. "This company was more concerned with the image they project to their wealthy clientele than with giving a fair deal to an experienced employee with a perfect flying record."

The suit, filed last year by the then-63-year-old Captain Doyle D. Baker, alleged that PrivatAir violated the California Fair Housing and Employment Act when it terminated his employment on July 22, 2004. Willis and Moore had retained PrivatAir to manage their Gulfstream II aircraft.

In the suit, Captain Baker claimed that PrivatAir, two other pilots and a flight attendant had conspired to defame and inflict severe emotional distress upon him. A highly decorated veteran of 242 combat missions, and a pilot with a perfect military and civilian flight record, he was terminated by PrivatAir after a flight attendant serving on the aircraft sent a letter to Willis, Moore, and PrivatAir accusing Capt. Baker of serious safety violations and portraying him as suffering from mental problems, feeble minded and too old to continue to fly.

During pretrial discovery, the flight attendant admitted that he had not written the letter, but that the other two pilots employed by PrivatAir had. Evidence was presented at trial in support of Captain Baker's allegation of a conspiracy among the flight crew, assisted by PrivatAir, to replace Captain Baker with a younger pilot, who was a personal friend of one of the defendant pilots.

The jury verdict, rendered in two phases in the Downtown Los Angeles Courtroom of the Honorable Judge Joseph Kalin, awarded Captain Baker back pay, future loss of earnings, pain and suffering and emotional distress damages in the total amount of $53,885,000.00 and subsequently rendered an additional award of punitive damages in the amount of $10,014,000.00.

Captain Doyle Baker remains a highly qualified pilot in good standing with the Federal Aviation Administration.


I wonder if Capt. Baker will now retire to a gentleman's life of leisure. [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

Posts: 1634 | From: Hampton, NH  |  IP: Logged
Prop Wash
Member # 381

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Although the award seems "a little high", [Wink] [Wink] we don't know just how important this job was to Captain Baker. If he were an airline pilot, in this unhappy period of time for our industry, he might have been happy with just a couple of bucks from those younger fellas who wanted him "out of the way".

If he REALLY loved what he was doing, no amount of money will erase the pain he apparently suffers from the criticism of his "fellow employees".

Randy Kramer

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dave carr
Post Captain
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Do you think that we could charge the US government and TWA for age discrimination? Hey, the week before my retirement flight I had to take my single visit training and my first class physical. I passed them both. I flew my last leg 1 day before my 60th and then was shown the door.

Kind of a strange situation don't you think? When the government discriminates it's ok. When a private company discriminates it costs them 60+ million. I could figure out ways to use 60 million.

On another note, I think that the 60 million dollar award is horrible and completely out of all proportion. What do you think?

Dave Carr

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Post Captain
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Randy & Dave,

Yeah the award is a little obscene but, in view of the fact that the "perps" (except PrivatAir's insurance company) are unlikely to have the resources to pay the full amount it insures that Capt. Baker gets whatever they do have.

As far as how he feels after the insult, well, for me it brings up images of the Caribbean, sailing yachts, cold lobster and cracked crab and "looking good, Billy Ray - feelin' good, Lewis"! [Big Grin] I doubt he's feeling down at the moment.


Posts: 1634 | From: Hampton, NH  |  IP: Logged

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