Misuse of the Legal System – Deep Pockets Against Balloonist

California ranch steps up legal campaign against ballooning
A private olive ranch in California has stepped up its legal campaign against ballooning by subpoenaing customers of hot-air balloon companies. “We don’t want somebody going for a $200 ride with us getting embroiled in a $150,000-plus lawsuit,” said balloonist Dennis Barrett. JCM Farming has filed lawsuits against more than a dozen balloon companies. The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.)

Bring back hot-air balloons to Calif. valley
A private olive ranch should not be able to dictate whether hot-air balloons can fly in public airspace, Jim Dieterich of Palm Desert, Calif., writes in a letter to the editor. “Hot-air ballooning and viewing has been a longtime desert recreation that has brought tourist dollars into our valley,” writes Dieterich. The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.)

Editor’s Note: The national pilot organizations, AOPA, EAA and NBAA should all bring their considerable legal resources together and become involved with this lawsuit so a precedent is not established.

A Palm Desert law firm is offering to defend for free any balloonists sued by the owners of an east valley olive farm.

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