Search Site
Menu
City of Cleveland to Pay $425,000 to Settle Whistleblower Claim

The City of Cleveland will pay a $425,000 settlement in response to a whistleblower claim filed by an employee at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

According to Abdul Malik-Ali, the whistleblower in the case, leadership at the airport retaliated against him when he brought safety concerns about the airport to the federal government.

In addition to the settlement, the airport will give Ali a pay raise and clear his file of all disciplinary reports connected to his whistleblowing, which included a 15-day suspension after he placed an emergency order of de-icing chemicals for clearing off runways.

Background of the case

Ali served as the manager of field maintenance for the airport. In 2015, he brought forth safety concerns about inadequate snow removal staffing with an FAA inspector, a concern he had previously raised with administration at the airport. The inspector agreed, and was alarmed by the low staffing levels. The next day, the inspector decided to observe snow operations, which led to a fine of $735,000 levied against the airport by the FAA a month later.

The airport director at the time, Ricky Smith, quickly demoted Ali after hearing about Ali’s meeting with the FAA inspector. He was forced to do menial tasks and was moved into what was essentially a closet.

In 2017, OSHA ordered Ali be paid $96,000 in lost compensation, attorney fees and pain and suffering damages, while also ordering his immediate reinstatement and demanding the airport make it known it was guilty of retaliation.

If you have been a victim of retaliation after exposing safety concerns or wrongdoing in your workplace, consult an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group right away.

Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    #600
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
Testimonials
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

FOLLOW US
Facebook Twitter Linkedin RSS Feed JD Supra