Wrongful Discharge

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 Mendelsohn? v. Metro Express II Inc., Dallas

The plaintiff, a pilot for commuter airline Metro Express II, was an unruly employee. He also was the union organizer at a time when Metro was involved in a unionization battle. Metro’s chief pilot decided that the plaintiff’s dangerous tendencies as a pilot merited his firing, but the chief pilot’s notes in the plaintiff’s human-resources file included a mention that Mr. Mendelsohn was the union organizer.

When Rose Walker attorney Martin Rose was brought into the case as defense counsel, the lawyer in charge urged that the HR notes be withheld. Mr. Rose refused and produced the potentially damning notes. The plaintiff contended that he was discharged because of union-organizing activities rather than the claimed safety concerns. The case, tried before legendary U.S. District Judge Barefoot Sanders, ended with a defense verdict and was not appealed.