Fired AA Employee Appears in Court

Former American Airlines employee mocked airline in YouTube videos

A former American Airlines flight attendant was in a Fort Worth courtroom Wednesday to respond to a lawsuit the airline has filed against him.

Gailen David, who had 24 years of experience as a flight attendant with the Fort Worth-based airline, was fired in March of this year.  

David had posted several videos on the website YouTube that were critical of the company and its bankruptcy filing. David appeared in the videos dressed in drag and portraying multiple characters.

"I was trying to demonstrate that there is extravagance going on in the company at a time when everyone else is being asked to cut things," David said of the videos and his blog postings.

American subsequently sued David, claiming he posted the personal flight information for company executives on his blog and that he used the AA corporate logo without permission on his personal site.

The hearing on Wednesday lasted less than a minute because both parties agreed to a permanent injunction in the case.

"This lawsuit has been enormously expensive, it's been at a major cost to me not only financially, but emotionally," David said after the hearing.

David said he never released information on regular customers, only airline executives he claims were bumping passengers on full flights. He said he received that information from e-mails he received based on his position within the company working to improve VIP services. On Wednesday, he agreed to never again release proprietary information.

David said he can continue to make videos but doesn't plan to continue attacking American executives.

"It's really time to repair American Airlines at this point and I don't want to be the one who keeps this fight going," David said.

David said he also hopes to get his job back as the Association of Professional Flight Attendants filed a grievance on his behalf.

American Airlines spokesman Bruce Hicks released the following statement on behalf of the airline:

"Today, American reached a Court-approved agreement with former employee Gailen David resulting in the entry of a final judgment and permanent injunction prohibiting Mr. David from continuing to disseminate American’s confidential, proprietary, and trade secret information, which fully resolves this lawsuit. We take matters of customer and employee privacy very seriously, and we have every intention of protecting our confidential information.

"The Court’s final ruling prohibits Mr. David from disclosing among other things the private travel information of American’s employees and passengers, which was the primary focus of the lawsuit. We are very pleased with the outcome of this lawsuit and the relief that American obtained from the Court.

"Mr. David further agreed that if he violates the terms of the agreement, he will face serious penalties including the payment of liquidated damages to American, payment of American’s attorneys’ fees and costs, and an acknowledgment that American will be entitled to seek sanctions, contempt, and further injunctive relief from the Court. The need for the hearing on American’s motion for sanctions was unnecessary due to the Court’s entry of the final order and permanent injunction. Contrary to published reports, the Court did not address the contempt issue at all."

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