DALLAS (CN) - Thirteen men claim L-3 Communications charged them $41,000 apiece in tuition to its "air traffic control academy" after luring them with false promises that "guaranteed" them that "the first 100 graduates would be hired by the FAA."
But L-3's training was inadequate and they never got the jobs, the men say in Federal Court.
Lead plaintiff Rusty Brown says that L-3 Communications, dba L-3 Link Simulation and Training Air Traffic Control Academy, "enticed plaintiffs to join the academy by promising them jobs with the FAA upon graduation."
"These promises were not mere offers of placement help.
"Rather, one or more L-3 and/or Academy agent(s), apparent agent(s), employee(s) and/or vice principal(s), including but not limited to Robert E. 'Scott' James, Dale Raatz and Jim Christy, guaranteed plaintiffs that the first 100 graduates would be hired by the FAA.
"This guarantee is corroborated by a February 9, 2009 article in which L-3 and/or Academy officials told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram an agreement had been made with the FAA to hire the first 100 Academy graduates.
"One or more L-3 and/or Academy agent(s), apparent agent(s), employee(s) and/or vice principal(s), including but not limited to Robert E. 'Scott' James, Dale Raatz and Jim Christy, also told plaintiffs that a mobile unit would be present at the Academy on graduation day to hand out FAA job assignments.
"Plaintiffs each relied on these promises and agreed to pay $41,000.00 in tuition to attend the academy.
"To date, not a single student has received a job offer as promised.
"In fact, plaintiffs have learned that the FAA never made the agreement represented by the defendants.
"Furthermore, plaintiffs have learned that their training received at the Academy is insufficient, by itself, to even qualify them to work in a FAA air traffic control tower," according to the complaint.
The plaintiffs say L-3, through its named agents, told them that "(1) the first 100 Academy graduates were guaranteed jobs with the FAA; (2) defendants had reached an agreement with the FAA to hire the first 100 Academy graduates; (3) a mobile FAA unit would be present at each Academy graduation to hand out FAA job assignments; (4) graduation from the academy, by itself, would be sufficient to qualify plaintiffs for employment in a FAA air traffic control tower and (5) graduates would be employed by the FAA before they had to repay loaned tuition, if any."
But it didn't happen, the 13 men say.
The so-called flight school was in Arlington, Texas.
The 13 men seek compensatory and punitive damages for fraud, negligence and negligent misrepresentation. against L-3 Communications Corp. and L-3 Communications Holdings, dba Link Simulation & Training and/or L-3 Link Simulation & Training Air Traffic Control Academy.
James, Raatz and Christy, though repeatedly mentioned in the complaint, are not named as individual defendants.
The plaintiffs are represented by Greg Jackson and Jim Zadeh, of Fort Worth.
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