Search Site

Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Major Food Vendor Settles for $19 Million

The largest food vendor in Washington, D.C. will pay $19 million as a result of a whistleblower lawsuit claiming the company poorly managed and overcharged for public school meals.

The lawsuit was filed against Chartwells and Thompson Hospitality, which had been providing meals for the schools since 2008. The suit claimed that in addition to wrongfully overcharging the city for the meals, food items repeatedly arrived late, spoiled or in fewer quantities than the city ordered. Once the lawsuit was filed, an investigation took place, followed by a complaint made by the D.C. attorney general.

Regarding the $19 million settlement, Attorney General Karl A. Racine commented that he thought it was an appropriate resolution, which held the city contractor accountable for its actions. However, the settlement is not the result of an admission of liability by Chartwells, as the suit’s claims have been left undetermined.

Jeffrey Mills, who served as the executive director of the D.C. public school system’s Office of Food and Nutritional Services from 2010 until his termination in 2013, filed the lawsuit. Mills also filed a separate claim, arguing that his termination stemmed from his complaint about Chartwells.

Mills stated that during his time as executive director, he saw the private contractor place more concern on profit than the health and safety of young D.C. students. In a statement, he called this confusion of priorities a national concern, and encouraged all school districts to take a closer look into the motives and services of their food vendors.

Chartwells denies the suit’s claims, and has stated that it will resolve any issues with its food in order to continue to provide healthy meals. A company spokesperson stated that through working with Chartwells, D.C. Public Schools saved millions of dollars on quality food for students.

If you have been wrongfully terminated or retaliated against because you reported misconduct, meet with Steve Kardell at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Awards & Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
As Seen In
In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "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

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "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

  • "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.