In a major decision for state and federal whistleblower law, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a verdict worth $3.2 million in favor of an individual who was fired after exposing wrongdoing related to Pennsylvania Turnpike contracts and practices.
The whistleblower had revealed a significant amount of waste in turnpike contracts, along with suspicious hiring practices and E-Z pass discounts for larger trucking companies.
The state Supreme Court ruled that, under Pennsylvania whistleblower law, judgments for noneconomic damages in matters causing reputational damage, humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish are allowed. The decision was unanimous, allowing whistleblower Ralph Bailets to collect the large sum of money.
Bailets initially sued the Pennsylvania Turnpike over his termination in 2008. He had been working as a manager of financial systems and reporting and was fired after bringing forward concerns related to a $54 million contract the turnpike commission had signed with Ciber Inc. and the subsequent performance under that contract. The Pennsylvania Turnpike did not issue any public statements regarding the decision.
In recent years, state and federal governments have provided greater protections to whistleblowers across the country. Those who have been wrongfully terminated after exposing fraudulent or unethical practices may be able to get their jobs back and collect considerable awards. Others may seek compensation through a civil lawsuit.
If you believe you have been the victim of wrongful termination, speak with a skilled Dallas whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group to learn more about your legal options.