American icon and celebrated World War II hero Gen. Charles “Chuck” Yeager is embroiled in a civil trial that commences on Monday. He will face his toughest adversary to date, the oldest law firm in Fresno, Wild, Carter & Tipton, founded in 1893.
The man who embodied the “Right Stuff,” renowned for being the first man to break the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 plane at a top speed of Mach 1.06 (700 mph) in 1947, is being sued for breach of contract, according to the Fresno Bee.
“I would rather be fighting them in the air than stuck in this goddamn courtroom,” claims the 91-year-old who once parachuted out of a distressed supersonic jet after his pressurized suit caught fire. The fearless Yeager was just 21 when his plane was shot down on a WW II bombing mission over Berlin in 1944. He was flying a P-51 Mustang, which he boasts was the first plane to break through German airspace and reach Berlin to battle the potent German air force, the Luftwaffe.
Yeager and his second wife Victoria are saying they don’t owe $43,135 to Wild, Carter & Tipton, whom they contend bungled his case when he was being sued by his daughter Susan involving a family tax shelter that was created by Yeager’s first wife Glennis. The suit was one of seven that the prestigious law firm defended for the man who trained astronauts for NASA.
Moreover, the still-fit General claims that the firm was defending him against his daughter “pro-bono,” since they never had an agreement to be represented by Wild, Carter & Tipton. According to the Bee, the law firm rejects that notion and makes the claim in court papers that, even if there is no written contract, they are still due payment, because Yeager was provided with monthly billing statements and “the time expended and a description of their work performed.”
Victoria Yeager, an erstwhile actress, was involved in 30 lawsuits before she married Yeager, but she contends that Chuck and she do not trust lawyers. “They’re complaining now, but they took the cases because they thought they were going to get rich off the General,” she said.