Los Angeles Jury Awards Whistleblower With $1.5 Million Verdict
A jury in Los Angeles issued a $1.5 million verdict to a former employee who alleged his company retaliated against him for reporting misconduct that violated the False Claims Act (FCA), the Defense Contractor Whistleblower Protection Act (DCWPA) and California’s whistleblower statute.
The plaintiff is a former NASA Mars mission engineer who worked with ManTech International Corporation. He alleged he was fired after reporting that he received unauthorized access to classified, proprietary information owned by a third-party government contractor in a manner that violated federal rules regarding government procurement contracts of a sensitive nature. He claimed he was sent home without pay, placed on furlough and ultimately discharged after the report, but before that incident had only received positive performance evaluations and had been rewarded with multiple pay increases.
The man filed his retaliation claims under the FCA, the DCWPA and the California whistleblower statute, and the jury found in his favor in all claims, awarding him money for lost wages, future lost wages and past and future emotional distress.
Whistleblowers protected from retaliation
There are a number of statutes in place on federal and state levels that protect whistleblowers from retaliation by disgruntled employers. There have been several recent large jury verdicts in whistleblower retaliation cases, including this Los Angeles case, as well as an $11 million whistleblower verdict in San Francisco. The trend shows how much whistleblowers have to gain by speaking up, and the risks employers face by attempting to retaliate against their employees who blow the whistle.
For further information on the protections afforded to you as a whistleblower, speak with an experienced attorney at Kardell Law Group.