A lawsuit filed March 15 by 10 commercial airline pilots to strike down the Federal Transportation Mask Mandate was docketed by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today and assigned to District Judge Christopher Cooper. The stamped complaint and docket are attached.
10 Pilots Sue CDC to Block Never-Ending
Federal Transportation Mask Mandate
Lawsuit: Forced Masking Harms Pilots’, Health, Creates Danger to Aviation Safety
WASHINGTON – A group of 10 commercial airline pilots from six states filed suit Tuesday against the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to strike down the Federal Transportation Mask Mandate, arguing forcing them to obstruct their normal breathing harms their health and endangers aviation safety. It’s the first legal challenge to the FTMM filed by airline workers.
Pilots filed the 61-page complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia just hours after the Senate voted 57-40 to repeal the mask mandate and one day after 17 members of Congress sued CDC in Kentucky. They charge CDC and its parent agency, the Department of Health & Human Services, with seven violations of the law and Constitution. The pilots, who work for four U.S. airlines, ask the court to vacate the mandate and permanently enjoin the federal government from ever issuing it again.
Lead plaintiff Janviere Carlin of Massachusetts, a pilot for JetBlue Airways, said the Biden Administration’s fourth extension of the FTMM, announced March 10 and effective until April 18, forced pilots to take legal action. She described the lawsuit as “patriotic” and “the right thing to do” to protect aviation safety.
“When the pandemic was in its early phases, we took a wait-and-see approach with regard to the mask requirements, but most of us realized right away that they were in direct conflict with our legal and innate obligation to conduct safe flights,” Carlin said. “Our pilot license is directly linked to our medical certificate. Those requirements touch each of us individually, so we each came up with our own ways of making sure that we were always safe and legal for flight. But unfortunately, that always put us in conflict with the mask mandate.”
The pilots’ case is at least the 18th lawsuit attacking the legality of the FTMM but the first by airline employees who are commandeered by the federal government to enforce the mask mandate. …Read More