A jury in California has awarded $25.1 million in damages to a former employee of Cardiovascular Systems Inc. after determining the company wrongfully fired him.
The employee, who was at one point a regional sales manager for CSI, filed the lawsuit against the company in 2015. In the suit, he claimed the medical device manufacturer terminated his employment after he raised concerns that CSI was offering kickbacks to doctors and violating various other healthcare ethics laws. The jury ultimately awarded him $2.7 million in standard damages and $22.4 million in punitive damages.
CSI issued a regulatory filing disagreeing with the court’s decision in terms of the decision of liability, the amount of compensatory damages and the need for (and amount of) punitive damages. The company stated its intent to challenge the verdict in an appeals court. It also mentioned that it will evaluate how the jury’s decision could potentially impact the company’s financial standing.
CSI settled another whistleblower lawsuit in 2016. In that case, the company was alleged to have made $8 million worth of illegal payments to doctors. CSI’s shares dipped by more than 2 percent after the latest announcement of its liability.
Federal protections available for whistleblowers
There are many regulations and laws protecting whistleblowers from wrongful termination if they raise concerns about the legality or ethics of an organization’s practices. A business or organization that retaliates against an employee in such a way could face significant fines and other penalties.
To learn more about how to proceed in a wrongful termination case against a former employer, meet with a trusted Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.