Broward News

Gulfstream Airlines Unfairly Fired Employee for Reporting Safety Concern, Jury Rules

A former Gulfstream International Airlines pilot won his whistleblower lawsuit today after a jury decided he had been unfairly fired for complaining about a fellow pilot flying a 19-seater with his knees.

The jury spent about two days deliberating, but in the end, they ruled in favor of former pilot Patrick Hart, saying that he was wrongfully terminated by Gulfstream International Airlines.

The past few years have been tough, Hart said, but he's glad there's now a

precedent future whistleblowers can point to when considering whether to complain about an unsafe or unethical practice.

"The most important thing is that there's recourse," he said.

Hart said he hopes the decision will keep airlines safe and that if Gulfstream appeals, the facts will be on his side.

Captain Kenny Edwards, also a former employee of the carrier, said he's got a similar suit against Gulfstream. He said since the airline terminated him for trying to blow the whistle, he's been waiting tables at a sports bar and giving guitar lessons on this side. He said he's not sure whether Hart's suit will affect the outcome of his, but he's happy his former coworker won.

"It's been a long road. He's had over four years of this day to come," Edwards said. "It's a horrible, horrible thing to go through. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy."

Gulfstream did not return multiple voice mails requesting comment.

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Kate Bradshaw