West Virginia Record

Sunday, January 19, 2020

State Supreme Court to visit Marshall

By Steve Korris | Sep 13, 2007

HUNTINGTON – Executives of regional airline Colgan Air ordered their Huntington crew to stop tormenting prospective pilot Rao Zahid Khan, but a month after the World Trade Center attacks the Huntington crew fired him.

Now the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals must decide if Colgan Air discriminated against Khan.

The Justices will hear oral argument Tuesday, Sept. 18, at the Joan C. Edward Performing Arts Center of Marshall University.

The Justices will make a special trip to Huntington to help the university celebrate Constitution Week.

The docket includes a hamburger lawsuit that reached the Court before another West Virginia hamburger suit made world headlines.

In the case before the Justices, Clinton and Jessie San Francisco allege that a Wendy's in Charleston undercooked a sandwich.

They think Kanawha County Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib made an error when he granted summary judgment to Wendy's.

They want a new trial where they can call expert witnesses who Zakaib has not allowed them to call.

The Justices will also hear Thomas MacPhee's appeal of a first degree murder conviction in McDowell County.

He says he was on the porch when the murder happened inside.

Last, the Justices will hear a drainage dispute in Lincoln County.

In Khan's case, they will feel pain.

An administrative law judge found ample evidence of awful treatment but ruled out liability because Khan's tormentors were not his supervisors.

The West Virginia Human Rights Commission held that his tormentors were indeed his supervisors.

Colgan Air seeks to reverse the commission's decision.

The Regional Airline Association filed a brief as friend of the court, arguing that airlines must reject pilot candidates who lack necessary skills.

According to Khan, the airline rigged tests against minorities.

The public is invited to attend the Court session starting at 10 a.m. Sept. 18 at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center. The Court's visit to Marshall marks the third consecutive year the justices have visited the campus during Marshall's celebration of Constitution Week.

Marshall University is named for former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, who served on that Court from 1801 to 1835 and was the longest serving Chief Justice in United States history. He died two years before Marshall Academy was formed in 1837.

"I am pleased to bring the Court back to Marshall," West Virginia Chief Justice Robin Jean Davis said. "My fellow justices and I have enjoyed our visits to the campus and we are happy to be able to participate in the Constitution Week observance."

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