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Bruce Willis-Demi Moore's Private Jet Pilot Wins $53Mil. in Calif. Lawsuit
Los Angeles Times ^ | 12/9/05 | Los Angeles Times

Posted on 12/11/2005 3:13:28 PM PST by tresfix

December 9, 2005 latimes.com : IN BRIEF LOS ANGELES COUNTY / LOS ANGELES Pilot Is Awarded $54 Million in Lawsuit From Times Staff and Wire Reports.

A jury has ordered a charter airline that flies planes owned by celebrities, including Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, and three of its former employees to pay almost $54 million to a pilot who said he was defamed and fired because of his age. The jury is still considering an additional punitive damage award for Doyle Baker, 64, of Apple Valley. Although Baker exclusively flew a jet owned by Willis and Moore, he actually was employed over the years by various private companies that managed the aircraft, including PrivatAir Inc. Baker blames PrivatAir and three former co-workers for wrongfully attacking his health and competency in the cockpit in letters to the FAA, Willis and Moore.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Conspiracy; Health/Medicine; Local News; Military/Veterans; Miscellaneous; Reference; Travel; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: brucewillis; demimoore; doylebaker; lawsuit

1 posted on 12/11/2005 3:13:31 PM PST by tresfix
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To: tresfix
I thought FAA regs were that you could not fly commercial flights after the age of 60. Isn't that what he was doing flying commercial flights?
2 posted on 12/11/2005 3:16:59 PM PST by svcw
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To: svcw

Maybe a few more liberal muggings like this and they would support caps on lawsuits.


3 posted on 12/11/2005 3:24:40 PM PST by FEARED MUTATION
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To: FEARED MUTATION

Isn't that the truth!!


4 posted on 12/11/2005 4:48:34 PM PST by tresfix
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To: svcw
American commercial pilots have to retire on their 60th birthday. Many fly private jets after their retirement from the airlines, as there are no age restrictions. Some are retired military pilots who the airlines would not hire. Many private pilots are those who could not get a job in commercial aviation, the ultimate career for a civilian pilot.
5 posted on 12/11/2005 4:58:09 PM PST by tresfix
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To: svcw
American commercial pilots have to retire on their 60th birthday. Many fly private jets after their retirement from the airlines, as there are no age restrictions. Some are retired military pilots who the airlines would not hire. Many private pilots are those who could not get a job in commercial aviation, the ultimate career for a civilian pilot.
6 posted on 12/11/2005 4:59:17 PM PST by tresfix
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To: tresfix
So he sues the corporation who is probably in debt and he can have the indebted planes and try to make a go of it himself.
In other words, that is why there is corporations in business and why corps often leave themselves officially broke at times.
This guy will be lucky to see any money.
7 posted on 12/11/2005 5:03:40 PM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: svcw

You can't fly part 121 carriers which are the commercial carriers including freight carriers like UPS but you can fly part 135 operations past 60 and that includes businees aircraft like this one.


8 posted on 12/11/2005 5:04:44 PM PST by saganite (The poster formerly known as Arkie 2)
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To: tresfix; Aeronaut; hattend

HOLY COW!
I KNOW HIM!!!!!


JUST DArN!


9 posted on 12/11/2005 6:13:36 PM PST by Dashing Dasher ((It was) Like being shot through a pinball machine with a piano on your chest!")
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To: MHak

FYI


10 posted on 12/11/2005 6:25:43 PM PST by Dashing Dasher ((It was) Like being shot through a pinball machine with a piano on your chest!")
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To: tresfix

Age restrictions in any job arena are just dumb. I'm 51, and can run circles around all of my co-workers, some of which are still in their 30's. Even the ones that don't smoke have bad diet/exercise habits.

Sure, there's genetics involved (BP 98/68 and HB 64 at last checkup; and I had to jog three blocks to get there on time). But I, thanks to my wife, eat right, and force myself to exercise, one way or the other.

Workplace health guidelines need emphasis on health history, first, then age!


11 posted on 12/11/2005 7:28:24 PM PST by Zuriel (Acts 2:38,39....nearly 2,000 years and still working today!)
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To: Dashing Dasher

who knew.


12 posted on 12/11/2005 7:32:16 PM PST by patton ("Hard Drive Cemetary" - forthcoming best seller)
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To: patton

I just got off the phone with a friend of ours who was at the trial.

They say he'll end up with $15-20Mill in his pocket.

Nice chunk'o'change!


13 posted on 12/11/2005 7:33:49 PM PST by Dashing Dasher ((It was) Like being shot through a pinball machine with a piano on your chest!")
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To: Zuriel

a lot of old timers, like my dad, noticed the first thing to get bad was their eyes (correctable) and their ears (from flying all those hours in piston-pounders without headsets).


14 posted on 12/11/2005 7:35:21 PM PST by Zuriel (Acts 2:38,39....nearly 2,000 years and still working today!)
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To: Dashing Dasher

yikes.


15 posted on 12/11/2005 7:38:56 PM PST by patton ("Hard Drive Cemetary" - forthcoming best seller)
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To: tresfix

Any 64 year old pilot is going to have millions of air miles under his belt and certification for every aircraft flying.

When my brother was in the Canadian Airforce the smart pilots did transport duty because they could rack up huge flight time doing milk runs.

After ten years they went straight to commercial aviation and got hired on the spot.

The top guns were left with pensions and a few memories.


16 posted on 12/11/2005 7:41:44 PM PST by beaver fever
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To: Dashing Dasher

Sometimes professional blamers (lawyers) are a 'good thing',.....sometimes.


17 posted on 12/11/2005 7:43:05 PM PST by Zuriel (Acts 2:38,39....nearly 2,000 years and still working today!)
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To: Zuriel

I see you've gotten over your inferiority complex, also.


18 posted on 12/11/2005 7:45:42 PM PST by Richard Kimball (Tenure is the enemy of excellence.)
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To: Richard Kimball

professional blamers......inferiority complex?????

Then I proudly join the likes of Will Rogers and Samuel Clemons, for my tongue in cheek comments of lawyers. ;)

One lawyer friend of my family landed his C210 in a muddy plowed field in Iowa back in 1986, AND kept it upright!!
It changed my whole opinion of lawyer/pilots!

Never mind that he ran out of gas to force that unplanned landing. :D


19 posted on 12/11/2005 8:14:01 PM PST by Zuriel (Acts 2:38,39....nearly 2,000 years and still working today!)
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To: Zuriel

IT's a wild story.

I just got an email back from him. He's going back tomorrow for punitive. As soon as I hear something - I'll let you know.



This should be interesting...


20 posted on 12/11/2005 8:16:10 PM PST by Dashing Dasher ((It was) Like being shot through a pinball machine with a piano on your chest!")
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To: FEARED MUTATION
Maybe a few more liberal muggings like this and they would support caps on lawsuits.

Yes, but Bruce Willis is not a liberal.

21 posted on 12/11/2005 8:27:20 PM PST by arasina (So there.)
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To: Dashing Dasher; patton

Ping me on that if ya will....me and money go almost as far back as me and food.......:o)


22 posted on 12/11/2005 8:31:11 PM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: Squantos

Roger, Wilco.


23 posted on 12/11/2005 8:34:27 PM PST by Dashing Dasher ((It was) Like being shot through a pinball machine with a piano on your chest!")
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To: arasina

Yike, I forgot, you're right.


24 posted on 12/11/2005 8:47:27 PM PST by FEARED MUTATION
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To: Dashing Dasher

The lawyers gets 40%, Uncle Sam gets 20%

Nice racket


25 posted on 12/11/2005 10:29:48 PM PST by hattend (Roast a Tookie for Christmas.)
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To: Zuriel

I really appreciate your post. BF is 12 years younger, because most guys my age can't keep up:-) I really appreciate your giving your wife credit too. That's something I try to do for my whole family - encourage diet and exercise. I don't often see family members taking the time to give credit to wife/mother this way.


26 posted on 12/12/2005 8:19:20 AM PST by Roses0508 (Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions - it only guarantees equality of opportunity.)
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To: Zuriel

I really appreciate your post. BF is 12 years younger, because most guys my age can't keep up:-) I really appreciate your giving your wife credit too. That's something I try to do for my whole family - encourage diet and exercise. I don't often see family members taking the time to give credit to wife/mother this way.


27 posted on 12/12/2005 8:19:59 AM PST by Roses0508 (Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions - it only guarantees equality of opportunity.)
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To: Zuriel

I really appreciate your post. BF is 12 years younger, because most guys my age can't keep up:-) I really appreciate your giving your wife credit too. That's something I try to do for my whole family - encourage diet and exercise. I don't often see family members taking the time to give credit to wife/mother this way.


28 posted on 12/12/2005 8:20:43 AM PST by Roses0508 (Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions - it only guarantees equality of opportunity.)
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To: Roses0508

My wife says: Thank you for you kind words!

She taken great care of me for over 27 years. :)


29 posted on 12/12/2005 7:20:57 PM PST by Zuriel (Acts 2:38,39....nearly 2,000 years and still working today!)
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To: tresfix
Hi TresFix...

In reference to your question regarding age criteria set by the FAA, the pilot is not a commercial pilot. He operates under regulations set by the FAA for Private/Business Aviation. True at the age of 60 a commercial pilot must retire, however under regulations set forth by FAA under private/business aviation, he/she is qualified to fly as long as they pass their medical and recurrent/simulator training every 6 months...
30 posted on 12/13/2005 12:14:59 PM PST by BizJetDivo
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: Squantos; hattend; B4Ranch; tresfix; A CA Guy; Zuriel; patton; arasina; BizJetDivo

UPDATE:

Chief Pilot for Bruce Willis and Demi Moore Suffered Age Discrimination and Wrongful Dismissal, Jury Says

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ --

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."
Click here to find out more!

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.

Mr. Michael L. Kelly is a partner with Kirtland & Packard LLP, a full service law firm with offices in Los Angeles (El Segundo) San Francisco and New York. The firm handles a variety of complex litigation matters.


32 posted on 12/15/2005 11:19:13 PM PST by Dashing Dasher ((It was) Like being shot through a pinball machine with a piano on your chest!)
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To: Dashing Dasher

They must pay pretty well for him to get $53M in back pay and future earnings.

I'm sure if this was me I would say the company got what they deserved but since it's not me, I say the jury who awarded this much cash was insane.


33 posted on 12/16/2005 9:03:35 AM PST by hattend (Dang, it's cold up here.)
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To: hattend
It's hard to decide who's right on this one... The $$ is HUGE - but the offense is nasty.

I dunno....

34 posted on 12/16/2005 9:10:15 AM PST by Dashing Dasher ((It was) Like being shot through a pinball machine with a piano on your chest!)
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To: Dashing Dasher

Yep, it is nasty. The co-workers did to him what the FAA did to Bob Hoover.


35 posted on 12/16/2005 9:20:06 AM PST by hattend (Dang, it's cold up here.)
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To: hattend

I was the Jury forewoman on this case. Just to let everyone know that after hearing the evidence I was sooo deeply disturbed by the wrong that was done to Captain Baker that I as well as the other jurors felt no shame in awarding the damages. I came by this website when I was searching for any articles on the web about the case. The damages were so high to send a message to PrivatAir. They not only discriminated against Captain Baker in regards to age but to cover up the offense with fake allegations they actively attempted to have the FAA ground him (which failed) but also defamed him and destroyed his reputation. I was not only disgusted but appalled at this behavior. The award was given knowing that he would not get that much but we wanted to let PrivatAir and others involved know that next time they should follow the LAW when dealing with employees. Above all else if you make a mistake settle with the man out of court and do not waste weeks of my time spent on jury duty only for me to be more disgusted as each day dragged on.


36 posted on 12/19/2005 1:47:11 PM PST by juryforewoman
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To: juryforewoman
Last I checked a jury's not there to "send a message" but to make a decision based on the evidence presented and then deliver a just verdict.

What if the award isn't overturned and the company involved must file bankruptcy?!?! That means no more jobs for lots of employees not even involved with these mis-deeds.

To paraphrase Samual Goldwyn, you want to send a message, go get Western Union.

37 posted on 12/19/2005 2:03:31 PM PST by safeasthebanks ("The most rewarding part, was when he gave me my money!" - Dr. Nick)
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To: juryforewoman

Fine, I wasn't there and didn't hear the case. I concede you are the FR Nexpert on this case.

Still $53+ million is extreme and I wonder how all the other employees will feel when PrivatAir goes belly up and they all lose their jobs.

Tort reform is badly needed in this country.


38 posted on 12/19/2005 2:06:33 PM PST by hattend (Dang, it's cold up here.)
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To: juryforewoman

Fine, I wasn't there and didn't hear the case. I concede you are the FR expert on this case.

Still $53+ million is extreme and I wonder how all the other employees will feel when PrivatAir goes belly up and they all lose their jobs.

Tort reform is badly needed in this country.


39 posted on 12/19/2005 2:06:46 PM PST by hattend (Dang, it's cold up here.)
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To: hattend

First so that you all know PrivatAir was not the only one sued. There were several parties sued and the total for everyone came to 53 million. As far as sending a message Punitive Damages are awarded to send a message. The judges instructions stated that Punitive damages are there to punish thru monetary means and it's only purpose is to punish and send a message by making a corporation pay. Their punitive damages came to 10 million dollars. Each entity had to give a financial accounting of what they were capapble of paying without going bankrupt and theirs was 15 million they were hit with 10 million. The sad part of it was that Captain Baker was willing to settle for $660,000 his retirement. They refused offered him $75,000 and told him to lawyer up. PrivatAir along with API and 5 other parties were given Punitive damages according to their finances. Some as little as $1500.00. The punitive they must pay because they broke the law with age discrimination. The other awards can be appealed or settled on. Which is what Captain Baker wanted in the first place. They didnt care about bankrupting him did they? They didnt care about how his family would survive due to their illegal acts and even when he wanted to settle the situation they laughed at him because they thought he was a cheap person and wouldnt get a lawyer. Evidence showed this because they were emailing each other and taking pleasure in what Captain Baker was going through and commenting on how he wont get a lawyer to combat what they had done to him. Okay so NOW everyone feels sorry for them. That amazes me. These corporations and people involved had SEVERAL opportunities to correct what they had done and not end up in court. Even throughout the month or so I served on jury duty they continued to lie on the stand. Emails and depositions proved they were lying and when caught the never said anything. Their attorneys had horrible witnesses an expert they hired that actually agreed with Captain Baker and the worse is they would laugh openly in court when cruel emails or testimony especially by John Kaylor was given. The whole thing was not only wrong but close to down right mean and sadistic. Sorry if you dont agree but Captain Baker will most likely walk away with the punitive 10 million and trust me PrivatAir has it. When Enron happened we all saw how employees depended on the company and it's executives to obey the law and do things correctly. When they don't bad things happen to the employees. The only ones the employess and even society should be upset with is the company who knows the law and willfully violates it and then attempts to cover it up.


40 posted on 12/20/2005 3:55:02 PM PST by juryforewoman (When you do wrong nothing goes right.)
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