This case took a bad twist for Southern Air. In May 2008 it filed a defamation lawsuit against former employees for slander in a Connecticut court after they raised air carrier safety concerns with Southern Air, OSHA, and the FAA. The workers, all former flight crew members, in turn, filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA. OSHA ordered Southern Air to withdraw its lawsuit and pay out the $70.9 million. Of course, Southern Air is expected to appeal the judge’s ruling.
Lesson learned: Don’t sue or otherwise retaliate against employees who file safety complaints. Read more about the case here.