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Lawsuit filed against Las Vegas-based Allegiant for safety record

An Allegiant Travel Co. shareholder has filed a derivative complaint in Clark County District Court against the company and seven of its executives and officers.

Charlotte Woolery, who identifies herself in the lawsuit as a current Allegiant stockholder, accuses the company of operating an unsafe airline subsidiary, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air, “that have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to Allegiant’s reputation, goodwill, and standing in the business community.”

The lawsuit also says the company’s actions “have exposed Allegiant to hundreds of millions of dollars in potential liability for violations of state and federal law.”

Allegiant representatives routinely don’t comment on litigious matters and declined comment on the lawsuit, filed Nov. 27.

Most of Woolery’s accusations are based on media reports from the Tampa Bay Times and an episode of “60 Minutes.”

After the “60 Minutes” story aired in April, aviation analysts called the reporting irresponsible and based on dated information.

The airline has been working since 2012 to upgrade its jets and last month retired its last MD-80 jet — the oldest aircraft in the fleet — in favor of new Airbus A319 and A320 jets.

The lawsuit names Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher; John Redmond, company president and board director; Scott Sheldon, executive vice president and chief operating officer; Gary Ellmer, Allegiant’s lead independent director; board director Montie Brewer; director Linda Marvin, the company’s former chief financial officer; and director Charles Pollard.

The lawsuit charts compensation the defendants have received over the past two to three years, led by Redmond receiving more than $10 million in stock awards, options and bonuses in 2016.

The lawsuit asks the court “to take all necessary actions to reform and improve its corporate governance and internal procedures to comply with applicable laws and to protect Allegiant and its stockholders from a repeat of the damaging events” and putting proposals to a vote of shareholders.

Allegiant shares were trading at around $180 in March 2016 and January 2017. On Wednesday shares listed on the Nasdaq exchange, closed at $126.51 a share.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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