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HA files lawsuit against former airline V.P.

HA files lawsuit against former airline V.P.

Old Nov 18, 03, 2:02 pm
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HA files lawsuit against former airline V.P.


Hawaiian Airlines says it expects to lose 7,300 passengers and $2.8 million in revenue annually because of actions taken by a former executive and his new employer, and it is asking its bankruptcy judge to do something about it.

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Old Nov 20, 03, 12:14 am
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Perhaps HA is a little more financially pressed for cash than I originally thought. Law suits first, what's next?

In any case, anything that causes HA to go into the red is not good for the carrier who is still working to get out of bankruptcy.
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Old Nov 20, 03, 2:41 am
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I think when he left Hawaiian, he had a contract which states he cannot be in a position to compete with Hawaiian Airlines for 18 month. He broke that after he started working for ATA 5 month after he was fired from Hawaiian. I remember the JetBlue CEO Mr. David N kept his promise not to start or work for an airlines when he left an airline and later started Jet Blue. I guess Hawaiian felt threatened with the expansion ATA is doing so they filed a suit.

[This message has been edited by flyhawaii (edited Nov 20, 2003).]
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Old Nov 20, 03, 11:48 am
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I don't know about the laws in Hawaii, but in most states these suits are difficult for companies to win. Case law is definitely heavily weighted in favor of the employee -- especially when they are terminated and need to support themselves.

However, if in his specific contract and severance or separation agreement (which is very common with CEO’s and high-ranking executives) HA paid him for his non-competition and non-solicitation time period (in this case 18 months), that can give HA a very strong argument in front of a judge. If they paid him to stay out of competition with them, he took the money and did it anyway, he could (and should, in my opinion) be in trouble. Somehow with HA, though, I'll be surprised if that's what happened.

Often, when the person has the potential ability to have a big positive impact on the business, new employers are willing to accept the financial risk associated with any potential lawsuits. I suspect ATA knew what they were getting into and did so with their attorney’s eyes wide open.
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