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Plane evacuation leads to a pilot's alleged wrongful termination

Airplane pilots have a tremendous responsibility to their passengers and crew. If pilots believe that there is a potential for danger, is it better to be safe than sorry? A former Allegiant Air pilot claims that he suffered a wrongful termination after he felt that there was something wrong with his aircraft and evacuated his passengers at a Florida airport.

The plaintiff claims that smoke was in one of the cabins. Because he was afraid that this could be a sign of a fire, he made the decision to land the aircraft and evacuate everyone through the emergency exits. After the incident, the plaintiff was terminated because he unnecessarily called for an evacuation. The ground crew, however, maintains the pilot's story because they had reported that one of the airplane's engines was seen smoking.

The plaintiff feels that the decision he made was in the best interest of everyone, and he feared for their safety. He feels that Allegiant fired him because he was more committed to the safety of his passengers and crew instead of the company's bottom line. He also believes that the airline was angered because of all of the negative attention the evacuation would bring as well as the additional cost the evacuation caused. Allegiant has been under a watchful eye due to a number of emergency landings and other incidents that have occurred recently.

The man is accusing Allegiant of a wrongful termination as well as defamation and is seeking more than $30,000. The airline had allegedly shared his private information, including his termination letter, which would negatively affect his future in the industry. Florida employees who suffer a wrongful termination or other adverse events because they are doing what is right may pursue legal recourse.

Source:, "Allegiant pilot suing airline for wrongful termination", Evan Lambert, Nov. 12, 2015

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