Air transport pilot claims he was fired for allegedly trying to improve in-flight patient safety

By Bree Gonzales | Sep 25, 2018

PITTSBURGH — An air transport pilot is suing Metro Aviation Inc, a helicopter ambulance service, claiming he was fired in retaliation for contacting the company's national headquarters about a proposal to improve in-flight patient safety.

Patrick DeVore filed a complaint in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County against Metro Aviation Inc. alleging that the helicopter ambulance service unlawfully terminated him. He said that Metro Aviation accused him of failing to complete a pre-flight checklist, even though he followed protocol, according to the lawsuit.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that he was terminated in retaliation for reaching out to national headquarters about a proposal to reconfigure the helicopter's interior to better accommodate patients, after allegedly being told by his direct supervisors it could not be done.

"Specifically, [Allegheny Health Network] requested a reconfiguration of seat positions in the helicopter with the explanation that the reconfiguration would allow them to have better access to the patient and provide optimal in-flight care," according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff accuses Metro Aviation of allegedly suspending and then firing him for discussing "this configuration and concern with national headquarters," according to the lawsuit.

Metro Aviation is the nation's largest private air medical operator specializing in university and children’s hospitals, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks a sum in excess of the arbitration limits of the court including compensation for lost wages and lost benefits,as well as future wages and benefits.

 DeVore seeks damages for attorney fees, costs, expenses, and punitive damages. He is represented by Vicki Kuftic Horne and Nicole Daller of The Law Offices of Vicki Kuftic Horne in Pittsburgh

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