Comair F/A sues over firing
Former Comair attendant sues over firing
COVINGTON, Ky. - A man who was fired as a flight attendant for Comair contends in a lawsuit that airline officials associated his "strong ethnic appearance" with possible terrorism.
Gilbert Knops, a legal alien of German citizenship and German-Dominican heritage, said a fellow flight attendant told Comair officials he was a potential terrorist. Knops said he was then wrongfully fired from his job with Comair, which is based at Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport in Hebron, Ky.
Knops said in the lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Covington, that he showed a cartoon critical of President Bush and a sticker ridiculing "support our troops" car magnets to fellow flight attendant Linda Brutzer during a November flight.
Knops said Brutzer may have been "offended by his lukewarm sense of nationalism" but remained cordial on a return flight.
In the lawsuit, Knops claims Brutzer told Comair officials that he was glad terrorists had attacked the United States and that he downloaded confidential airline and flight information "for potential terrorist use."
Knops called those claims "gross distortions" of anything he said. He filed a separate defamation suit in March against Brutzer, who declined comment Tuesday through her Cincinnati attorney, M. Scott McIntyre.
A federal judge said Tuesday he will hear arguments for dismissing that case Aug. 12.
A spokeswoman for Comair said it is company policy not to comment on pending litigation.
Knops' attorney could not be reached for comment.
A report by Comair included in the suit says Knops was fired for rudeness and intimidation of a fellow employee - Brutzer said Knops had her address and she received phone calls with no response and a "disturbing visit" at home. The report was not clear about whether the visit was from Knops.