MEDIA SUING THE AMERICAN WAY

Age discrimination. Tor-tious interference with a business relationship. Breach of contract. Negligence. Fraud. Slander.

Ironic, isn’t it, that such allegations would be presented against a publication that calls itself American Way?

Yet these are the causes of action in a lawsuit filed against American Airlines in April by Jay Crum, who was dismissed as publisher of the airline’s inflight publication. Crum is also seeking unspecified damages against former American Way editor Rod Davis, who, according to the plaintiff, “instigated a revolution. . .to get rid of Crum” at the magazine.

The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Fort Worth, further alleges that Davis told airline vice president Lowell C. Duncan that everything was fine at the magazine except for “our crazy publisher,” which led Duncan to request that Crum submit to an examination by the company psychologist. In the suit, Crum says that he initially refused to see the staff psychologist, but that Duncan “insisted, and assured Crum that if he acquiesced. . .the examination would have no adverse effects on his employment status.”

Crum says he met with the airline shrink and then was promptly bounced from his job that paid, with benefits, about $130,000 a year. In further allegations against the airline, the suit charges that “to be dismissed as a result of meeting with a psychologist is extremely damaging to Crum’s career and his reputation,”

David Broiles. the attorney representing Davis, calls the suit “one of the strangest cases I’ve seen in a long time. I can’t recall a situation where an employee was sued because the boss got fired.”

Alleged revolutionary Davis resigned from the American Way staff prior to Crum’s dismissal, but his life continues to have its share of the bizarre. These days, he’s living in Austin and writing a book about voodoo. As for Crum, he was recently named publisher of Ultra magazine.

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