Skip to comments.Chuck Yeager Sues Virgin Airlines
Posted on 12/31/2009 11:14:54 PM PST by Paleo Conservative
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Chuck Yeager says Virgin America used his name without permission in a mass mailer advertising its in-flight WiFi service. Yeager, 86, the first pilot to break the sound barrier, seeks punitive damages for unjust enrichment and violation of his publicity rights.
In his Superior Court complaint, Yeager cites a Virgin press release that he says was "widely distributed ... to several thousand people - if not hundreds of thousands of people." It states, in part: "Not unlike Buzz Aldrin or Chuck Yeager, you have the opportunity to be a part of a monumental moment in air travel. The communication highway now has wings with in-flight WiFi at every seat ..." Yeager, a retired general, says he "rarely, if ever, permits his name, image or other publicity rights to be used by private companies, or to associate with commercial products or services in the aviation industry, because that is the industry in which General Yeager has spent his entire 65-year career and has achieved so many accomplishments. Should a private company in that industry request the widespread commercial use of General Yeager's name or other publicity rights, General Yeager would carefully evaluate the company, product and/or service to be advertised, and if he were to agree to permit the requested use, he would require a payment commensurate with the value of his publicity rights in that industry - a substantial sum."
Yeager is represented by Charles Harder with Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro of Los Angeles.
The way it was written he might not have much of case, however Virgin America will probably pay him off out of court.
If that is a slam at General Yeager then shame on you. As an ex pilot I admire his guts breaking the sound barrier. What have you ever done that is worth mention?
The man is and was a hero. Not many would have the nerve to do what he did.
Well, first off, I was at the ceremony where Chuck Yeager appeared when the airport was named after him. How about you?
Why do so many people on FR interpret a simple remark as a slam? I said nothing to slam him. I simply said there was no mention of any naming rights back then, and that times have changed.
Because there is a huge difference between being honored by his home state naming an airport after him and a commercial airline using his name in promotional materials without permission.
You implied that Gen. Yeager would make his home state pay him to honor him by naming an airport after him. That is an insult.
Yeager is a cross dresser
An airport is still a commercial operation. And maybe I’m cynical, but I’m not so sure the “naming rights” would be free today. You’re free to disagree.
I try never to jump the gun. But the context of your comments looked like slam to me. If I misunderstood then I apologize. By the way I used to live three houses down from Pancho Barnes. I never really got a chance to know her and that is my loss.
When you're famous, you don't have the right to say your name can't ever be mentioned.
Bill Clinton. Evel Kneivel. Jimmy J.J. Walker. Chet Atkins. Guy Lombardo. Albert Einstein.
I agree, however, I think the Virgin is going to be "taken".
That is not the issue.
Is he sold old that $ still matters? There’s a nice 80’s video of his flght sim game on archive.org.
I guess he’s looking out for his heirs, but dang.
You mean to tell me that in secret he wears Army uniforms???!!! :O
He does deserve an ego, but I think he did himself more bad PR by filing the suit than if will be worth. Case looks very weak to me. Heading into cranky old man in the twilight years, which does not diminish what he did.
Good. The man risked his life countless times to reach his status. You cannot walk in and take that risk.
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