A judge in Birmingham, Alabama, awarded nearly $4 million to a whistleblower who was a former employee of a mortuary.
Barry Taul, the former mortuary worker, reported a scheme in which the mortuary paid out kickbacks to former officials of the Alabama Organ Center in exchange for more business referrals. The funeral home collected tissues on behalf of the organ center.
Taul soon began experiencing harassment, retaliation and threats in the workplace at Abanks Mortuary and Crematory. In one instance, Taul was threatened to be cremated alive as a means of silencing him after he reported the wrongdoing.
The owner of the mortuary, Jed Nagel, was acquitted on charges of theft in 2016, but the officials for the Alabama Organ Center pleaded guilty of their charges and received prison sentences in 2012.
Taul will receive $4 million for his role in bringing the case to light, and another $11 million will go to the federal government for a $15 million total award. Taul filed the law under the False Claims Act, in which private citizens can file lawsuits on behalf of the federal government and then be eligible to be awarded part of the money recovered in the case.
When you become aware of wrongdoing in the workplace, it is important for you to come forward and provide your evidence to the appropriate authorities. Fraud and kickbacks cost the government billions of dollars every year, and it is only through the services of whistleblowers that the money can be recouped.
For more information and guidance on the protections afforded to you as a whistleblower, work with an experienced Dallas attorney at Kardell Law Group.