Former air traffic controller blames Air Force for emotional distress

By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Feb 22, 2018

SACRAMENTO — A former Air Force traffic controller is suing his former employer, alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress.

SACRAMENTO — A former Air Force traffic controller is suing his former employer, alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Christopher Coulter filed a complaint Feb. 5 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California Sacramento Division against The Department of the Air Force, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, the United States of America and Does 1-20, alleging they subjected the plaintiff to a hostile working environment. 

According to the complaint, in 2008, Coulter began working at Travis Air Force Base as a civilian traffic controller.. The suit says on Feb. 20, 2012, there was a midair collision and, during a review of the crash, Coulter was improperly questioned by a superior. 

The suit states in February 2016, Coulter was terminated from his position. Since then, Coulter says he has suffered severe emotional distress, including humiliation, embarrassment, mental anguish, trauma, stress, anxiety and indignation, as a result of the wrongful conduct of the defendants.

The lawsuit states Coulter was subjected to a hostile work environment, a holding of his security clearance, retaliation and, untimely, termination. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants refused to release his security clearance, preventing him from acquiring employment, and subjected Coulter to vulnerable situations and false claims to build a case to terminate his employment.

Coulter seeks trial by jury, general, special and punitive damages, attorney fees, interest, costs of suit, and all further relief the court deems just. He is represented by attorney Waukeen Q. McCoy of McCoy Law Firm PC in San Francisco.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California Sacramento Division case number 18-cv-270

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