Skip to comments.Jury awards airline passenger $400,000
Posted on 01/16/2007 6:43:19 AM PST by Ellesu
A federal jury has ordered American Airlines to pay $400,000 to a computer consultant who was pulled from a flight at Logan International Airport because of security concerns, then denied reboarding even after he had been cleared by State Police. "I felt like I was being treated like a terrorist and there was no way I could prove I didn't do anything or say anything at all," said John Cerqueira , 39, who grew up in Fall River and now lives in Miami. "I'm grateful to the jury for sending the message to American Airlines that just the use of the word security isn't an excuse for unlawful behavior."
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
His name sounds Hispanic.
No they didn't. Read Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. It is the Captain's decision as to who flys and who doesn't. If the Captain thinks you are a threat to the aircraft and or the passengers it is his decision to let you fly or remove you from the flight.
This jury and this ridiculous judgment they awarded is yet another glaring example of what is wrong with our judicial system. A LOT of people are probably going to die because of this jury and their stupidity.....hopefully the airline will win on appeal.
Ok, so I will agree he was 'undually' detained but I will point out that in order to make that determination, one must first be detained. I cannot see where 400 grand justifies a couple hour detainment.
Are you saying that all decisions to detain must have evidence of guilt prior to detainment? If so, I have to say that seems a bit unreasonable, especially in light of the fact airplanes have been know to fly into buildings. When there is a question, it should be answered and the way to do that is remove a person from a flight and see that it gets answered.
Now as for not allowing him travel. I have to say he was not denied travel, he was denied access to those particular airplines. He could have taken a cab to a bus station. He could have rented a car, he could have chosen another airline. The point being that he had other choices available to him. Are you taking the position that the airlines are not private industry? That they have no say who may fly on their planes and who may not?
This nation has lost sight of private industry and what it used to mean to have a private business. If a guy comes into my store and wants to purchase an item and I don't like the way things feel, I should have the right, as the owner, to deny that sale. That property is mine to sell and I should be able to sell it, or not sell it, based my own personal decision. No one should be able to force me to sell or not to sell. It is not their choice, it is mine.
In the case of an airline, we are talking about a service. A service is the same as a good in my store example. If you take the position you do as to this lawsuit then you have to also take the position that the government should have to take 100% control of security and all liability for it.
They must make every decision regarding who flys and who doesn't. They must also decide where passengers can wait an where those there to greet them can wait. They must decide what foods can be sold and what stores can exist in the terminal. They must decide what goods can be sold in those stores and, as I stated, who those goods must be sold to. Where does that stop?
Look, either you back private business or you don't You cannot have it both ways. You cannot expect private dollars to be invested in a business when those investors have no control over how the business is run. So which is it? If you believe in private ownership of business then you must accept that some decisions made by some owners will be ones that you disagree with, even some will you find abhorant. The balance is found in the fact that you could open a business of your own and make the decision you find acceptable.
If you take the position that business owners cannot make their own decisions, futher that they shall be punished
for any made that some find reprehensible, then you have to admit that you oppose private ownership and operation of business. I am not saying you have to like or agree with the choice the airline made. I am Just sayin that you have to respect the fact that it is their choice to make and not your's (the your's there being meant in the plural sense).
Many people demand their own choice while at the same time have no problem denying others the very same thing they demand for themselves. That makes me sad, it also makes me scared. Private land ownership and private business ownership combined with the freedom to make individual choices concerning them is what made this nation strong. Laws, lawsuits and judgments like this example is weakening the very thing that made this country what it is today. It is shame people refuse to see that.
So you accept wildly excessive jury awards, many Americans do as well. Free money from an evil corporation, gotta love that brainwashing.
"Cerqueira, who was born in Portugal and is a US citizen.."
"Cerqueira said he didn't know the men, who were Israelis, but believes he was taken into custody with the men because he looked like them."
New way to make easy money, if you have dark skin: act suspicious so the airline kicks you off (for good reason), then sue for discrimination and win lots of $$$$$.
Of course if the airline doesn't kick off suspicious passengers and they turn out to be terrorists and blow up the plane, all passengers are going to sue for wrongful death.
"The complaint included an e-mail message, which Cerqueira said is from an airline official, stating, "Our investigation has revealed that our personnel perceived certain aspects of your behavior, which could have made other customers uncomfortable on board the aircraft."
Maybe he acted suspicious deliberately, precisely to get kicked off so he can sue.
Radio, I understand why you would feel they were wron and i respect your right to feel that way. But why isit that you think it is right and proper to punish business owners becasue they make a decision you disagree with.
Are you saying that everytime someone disagrees with a decision made by a business owner they should be able to sue for damages? It apears that you are sayin that so I thought I would ask you in a straight forward manner.
It should be entirely up to a business who it will serve? Yes or no?
what happened to the right to refuse service?
An absurd judgment $400,000 is ridiculous. It decisions like this that will bankrupt American business. I hope there is an appeal.
Paying the race card huh? Not surprising, it happens often. It is my position that if a black man doesn't want to do business with a white man he should have that choice, and all the responsibility that comes along with that action.
Rather than laws mandating such things, allow that personal responsibility to handle it. When a business gets a reputation for being racist in nature, how long is it going to last in today's world? Let the free market work, it does work when it is allowed to do so.
I don't care what reason a business ownr has, it is his choice, not mine.
Cannot be considered private property huh? Imagine that. Stalin would be proud to the point of tears. Tell me then, with all the regulation in all business, just take the card you played to start this post, NO BUSINESS can be 'considered' pivate then huh?
Yes it should be. That is the very essence of the line of seperation between public and private. It is also the line of seperation between freedom and tyrany.
If a certain clientel, for whatever reason, is not being serviced then a demand is created and more business can be expanded.
Again, I do not disagree with you on the concept of private property or freedom of association. I'm against all laws that infringe upon the rights associated with either. I'm simply stating that our opinions do not matter because the law does not reflect our opinion. As a matter of law, one can not discriminate against another based upon race. Not my opinion nor my stance. It what the law says. That's what essentially occurred here. A problem arose, it was cleared up and the business(in this case, an airline) still discriminated against the person, who had been cleared of having done nothing wrong, by refusing him service anyway. $400K is certainly ridiculous, however.
Based on your arguement, a business can deny service to anyone as a matter of personal choice. So you have no problem with blacks having to sit at the back of the bus or being denied service because a private restaurant only wants to serve white customers. Just let the free market create a business that caters to blacks, or to everybody. Thank you for proving you support racism, discrimination based on disablity or even very basic health and safety standards. You disgust me and I will justly ignore you.
Time to change the law huh. Time to change lawmakers so we can change the law.
I think the jury sent a deserved message to the airlines with the high dollar figure, regardless of financial loss.
Ouch. Sorry you have to sell the Vette.
Mine is a 2006.
The whole point of owning a business, of putting your own money on the line, is to be able to make those exact decisions. Arbitrary and personal grounds is the exact reason one seeks to own their own business instead of working for someone else. Why is it you seek to remove choice? Simply becasue you don't like the choice made? What gives you that right?
If something is funded by taxpayer dollars, taxpayer rules shall apply, see this >>>> they are the owners. That is where the line rests. Private dollars means private decisions and public dollars means public decisions. You have removed that line entirely. Please explain what gives youthe right to do so.
Your claim that I support racism is a huge dodge and serious spin. I said quite clearly that if a person operates a business that makes racist choices they hold the personal responsiblity for doing so. Please do explain how me saying that equates to me supporting racist decisions. This I gotta hear.
Let me explain something to you. A person can support another's right to make a decision while opposing 100% the actual choice that person makes. Do you understand the difference? Or do you simply seek to play the race card and throw out labels in order to mask the fact that you do not comprehend something this simple?
I don't like red, therfor you should not be able to buy a red car. I think that this grocery store should not be selling hamhocks, so therfor they cannot do so. I think that grocery store should be selling Halal meat therfor they must do so. See the problem with your position yet?
Or do you still support your contention that private business does not have the right to make arbitrary and personal decisions?
When you seek to impose your choice on everyone else, you are indeed endangering your own choice. For when you back such imposition, it is only a matter of time before someone else's decision is imposed on you.
I am not saying you have to like or agree with the choice made. I am not saying that you cannot voice your position concerning that choice made. I am Just sayin that you have to accept the fact that it isn't your choice to make, it is theirs to make. If you make the choice not to accept that, then you must admit you live in denial of a stark reality.....(that being that it is not your choice to make)or you don't really believe in free choice at all. So which is it?
This was the topic for discussion on our Boston radio station this morning. Evidently, he arrived at the airport early and asked to have his seat changed. He wanted an exit row for more legroom. He boarded the aircraft and went to the lav, sat down and took out his laptop. The 2 Israelis focused attention on themselves when they told the pilot while boarding that it was going to be a great flight and wishing all the passengers a Happy New Year. When the authorities approached the row, they were all sitting in ,Cerqueira had fallen asleep.
Frankly, it doesn't sound like he did anything wrong.
Does 'changing seats' at the last minute have any precident?
If that's all that's happened something is wrong, when airliners eject innocent passengers, but don't profile potential terrorists.
Remember Reid, the shoebomber, was not allowed on one flight, but the next day they let him right onto the plane.
He didn't change his seat at the last minute. When he got to the airport early he asked the gate attendant if he could change his seat. She said it wouldn't be a problem.
Same goes the other way too, you get on a plane and blow it up, the surviving relatives just got awarded an airline. You sound like a card carrying member of the PC police.
Unless he was traveling with fellow employees or customers, I don't think his reputation was done much harm. He'll likely never see his fellow passengers again. On the flip side TSA is an unnecessary PC joke. There will never be another successful hijacking of an American airline again.
He is now afraid of being profiled and it has affected his business. This would be laughable if there weren't 12 idiots that just handed the jerk a blank check.
LOL. OK, the Captain screwed up. Show me anywhere in the article where it says the guy was remotely considered a threat except for the fact that the AIRLINE assigned him a seat next to 2 suspicious looking guys who happened to be Israeli.
You know, sometimes there really is a potential threat like those Imams on US Air but here there's nothing but a bunch of paranoiacs (yourself included). The Airline/Captain got what they deserved, a slap on the wrist for a multi billion dollar corporation.
A 2005 C6 should not be too bad a price now. :-)
You may want to think about getting a C6 instead of a C5.
Of course not.
However, this guy was detained by police and then refused a seat on a plane.
Here is an example for you:
You are trying to rent a car in a city where you don't live. The rental agency calls the cops and has you pulled out of the car and arrested (after they gave it to you in the first place) because you have red hair. Then refuses to let you have the car back after being cleared by the police even though you paid for the vehicle in advance.
Think that is ok?
Ridiculous judgments like this will affect your ticket price on any airline. The precedent set by the judgment will make it more attractive for lawyers and/or their clients to pass up smaller out of court settlements and go for full court action against any airline.
Good! Airlines need to know they cannot pull crap like this.
Absurd Justice!! What ever happened to reason??
400 grand is a drop in the bucket for AA. Should have been at least a mil. Then possibly the next time they would think twice before pulling such a stupid stunt.
Thanks for calling me a racist.
Interesting that suspecting all white people are racist isn't a racial prejudice.
Didn't know there were serious security concerns at the Walgreens in your picture.
It's okay if thousands die as long as we're being PC about it eh?
>What were the serious security concerns of American Airlines after the police completely cleared him?<
I have to trust that there was some reason authorities had.
>The reason AA still didn't let him on the plane was because it would make the other passengers feel uncomfortable.<
So do you agree with the "flying Imams"? Those six guys who got on the plane last Nov and began praising Osama bin Ladin openly, asked for seat belt extensions when they didn't need them and then changed to seats near the emergency exits? I mean, these Imams only crime was making people uncomfortable too. Should they have been allowed to stay on the plane?
>"That is exactly the parallel with the Woolworth's photo: these guys sat down at the "whites only" lunch counter and were refused service because it would make the white customers uncomfortable. You asked "what happened to the right to refuse service." These guys, along with Rosa Parks and a lot of other brave black and white Americans, helped bring about a little thing called the Civil Rights Act, which ensures that no one can be refused service at a public accommodation on account of race or national origin. That's what AA was doing, and a jury rightly found it guilty."<
Yeah that's it, it's all a racial thing. In the year 2007 we have no reason to be concerned about the people who come in to this country, who gets on planes, etc. We're just a racist nation filled with unaccepting white people who hate everyone who looks and thinks different from them.
And that itself isn't a racial slur, because you can't prejudge white people right? We know that racism is endemic only to those with pale skin.
Maybe I should put on some bed sheets and go to a civil rights rally. After all, I never said I was a member of the KKK.
I take issue with "because you have red hair". If a red haired man was in the news for stealing rental cars they would be right to take a second look. The red hair is not why they took him out, the fact a red haired man was being sought is.
Trying to make it about only the red hair turns it into a red herring (sorry but the pun fit) or a straw man because there is more to it. If one is not considering all relevant factors, one is not keeping it real. Indeed, one is being fake. It is like saying, a 6 foot tall white man just robbed
a C-store but the cops could not stop and talk to white men in the area that are 6 foot tall. It just dosn/t make sense.
Security, police, whatever you want to call them, have a job to do and the stakes are high, very high in the case of airplanes. ( sorry, the puns are just rolling off my fingers today) Would I be happy that I got a second look and that my schedule was impaired?
No, I wouldn't be happy about it. But I would understand that they are just trying to do their jobs. It is not like they beat the crap out me. It is not even as if they held me for days and weeks or months or years.
When checked in this manner I would seek to help them out with information they request rather than become obtuse about it and cause further needless problems. Helping them with their job will see to it that I am on my way sooner and it will also insure they can get on to their search without undue time spent on me.
I most certainly would not sue over this. Now, if they beat the crap out of me, and I didn't start it, I would agree with your position, I would own them.
You being of a race that can not claim discrimination, is in itself discrimination of the worst sort.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.