FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2022
Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305.670.1101 Ext. 1023
QPWB WINS JUDGMENT IN A CIVIL CASE FOR DEFENDANT PILOTS
PHOENIX ― Dominique Barrett and Lori A Metcalf, QPWB partners in the firm’s Scottsdale, Arizona office, achieved a summary judgment on behalf of a major U.S. airline. The Plaintiff (a flight attendant) sought actual and punitive damages against the Defendants (two pilots and an airline) claiming sexual harassment, retaliation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiff alleged the airline and the pilots installed hidden cameras in the airplane lavatories and livestreamed her and other passengers while in the lavatories.
The Plaintiff asserted state law claims of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress and Invasion of Privacy against all Defendants. Plaintiff argued that the “willful misconduct” exception applied, and her claims were not barred by Arizona’s workers’ compensation laws. However, the court agreed with the defense and determined there was no evidence that the pilots or the airline intended to injure Plaintiff and no reasonable juror could conclude that either the pilots’ or the airline’s actions were performed “knowingly and purposely with the direct object of injuring another.” As Plaintiff could not establish willful misconduct, the court determined it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress claims. Further, with respect to Plaintiff’s Invasion of Privacy claim, Plaintiff could not prove there were cameras in the lavatories on the subject flight or that the pilots intruded upon her private affairs.
The Plaintiff also asserted a Title VII Sexual Harassment claim against the airline but failed to show the existence of a hostile work environment or that the airline was responsible for the harassment that caused the hostile environment. The court determined there was only one actionable instance of harassment and found the conduct not severe or pervasive to alter Plaintiff’s terms or conditions of employment.
The Plaintiff also filed a Title VII Retaliation claim against the airline but failed to show a causal link between engagement in a protected activity and the airline subjecting her to an adverse employment action.
The court granted summary judgment in favor of the pilots and the airline, and the Complaint was dismissed.
Dominique Barrett is a partner in the Scottsdale, Arizona office of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. Ms. Barrett is a trial attorney with over 15 years of litigation experience focused on the defense of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare and long-term care professionals and organizations. Her practice includes the areas of wrongful death, medical malpractice defense, long-term care, products liability, pharmaceuticals, professional liability, automobile accidents, premises liability, dram shop actions and liquor liability defense.
Lori A. Metcalf is a partner in the Scottsdale, Arizona office of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. Ms. Metcalf is an experienced trial lawyer focusing in the areas of construction defect claims, medical malpractice defense, wrongful death, nursing home liability, civil rights and governmental liability, and employment law.
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is the largest minority and woman owned law firm in the nation with approximately 400 lawyers serving clients from 31 offices in the U.S. and abroad. Our lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law.