Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Trial set in case of flight crews suing for hazardous-duty pay

By Steve Green (contactLas Vegas Sun

Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 | 2:33 a.m.

Trial is set to begin Oct. 4 in a class-action lawsuit claiming Vision Airlines Inc. of North Las Vegas pocketed tens of millions of dollars of hazard pay that was due flight crews assigned to dangerous war-related missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The trial was set after Chief U.S. District Judge for Nevada Roger Hunt on Sept. 15 denied motions by both sides to close the case based on their summary judgment motions.

Hunt found there are disputed facts that a jury will have to sort out, making the case ineligible for closure on summary judgment motions.

The trial will likely focus on two of the plaintiffs’ surviving claims, for unjust enrichment and conversion.

The legal dispute erupted in January 2009 when attorneys for former Vision pilot Gerald Hester of Colleyville, Texas, filed suit in federal court in Las Vegas claiming Hester and some 300 other current and former employees hadn’t received extra pay for flying in and out of the war zones since 2005. The lawsuit said at least $21 million was due the flight crews.

The lawsuit brought some unwanted attention to aspects of Vision’s business, including reports its aircraft were involved in CIA “rendition” flights in which alleged terror suspects may have been shuttled around the globe for undisclosed reasons. Locally, Vision is known for more mundane operations like Grand Canyon tour flights.

September 23, 2010 - Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Corruption, Iraq | , , , , , ,

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