Court rules for airline in pilot defamation claim

Updated at: 01/30/2014 7:57 AM

(AP) WASHINGTON - WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has thrown out a $1.4 million defamation judgment against Air Wisconsin in the case of a fired airline pilot. The court ruled that a federal law offers airlines broad immunity from such lawsuits.

The court ruled Monday that Air Wisconsin is shielded from the lawsuit, filed by veteran pilot William Hoeper, under a post-9/11 law aimed at encouraging reports of possible security threats.

The airline reported Hoeper as mentally unstable and potentially armed. Federal authorities pulled the pilot off a flight on which he was a passenger, but found no cause for concern.

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