Jury verdict for plaintiffs of over $4.7 million
Total recovery over
Benton County Case No. 99-2-01250-7. Eleven plaintiff whistleblower case finally brought to trial after extensive delays. Jack called more than 50 witnesses, most of whom where company employees who were hostile to the plaintiffs. Some of the plaintiffs are pipe fitters who had been laid off for refusing to install an underrated valve in a system that would ultimately carry nuclear waste. Other plaintiffs were pipe fitters who were laid off after speaking out in support of the original plaintiffs. The jury awarded over $4.7 million in damages. See jury verdict form. Plaintiffs were awarded an additional $1.5 million in attorney fees. See the attorney fee judgment and the order denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss the case. Also see the Seattle Post Intelligencer coverage.
Recent $1 Million Emotional Harm Whistleblower Jury Verdict
A Thurston County jury awarded Steve Chaussee, a carpenter foreperson working for the ferries, $1,000,000 for emotional harm damages he suffered over a period of about eight years after he was perceived by his management to have blown the whistle on another ferry worker who was leaving work early to coach baseball and charging for a full day.
After the verdict, Jack said,“Steve is very pleased. The State needed to be held accountable. Once they got it in their heads that Steve was the whistleblower they demoted him two levels—from foreperson to journey level—which was unprecedented”, and “This verdict should send a message to state bureaucrats that they will be held accountable for whistleblower retaliation. This verdict makes it cost effective to protect whistleblowers and to fix the problems they report.”
Jury verdict of over $187,000.00
King County Case No. 92-2-05963-1. Disability discrimination case brought under state law. Case was won on Jack’s cross-examination of adverse witnesses.
Whistleblower Win: 4.1 million dollar settlement before trial.
Federal District Court, Eastern District, No. CV-11-5157-LRS. Dr. Tamosaitis agreed to a settlement of his federal retaliation lawsuit against Hanford contractor URS for $4.1 million dollars. The settlement came almost one year before the case was set for a jury trial in federal district court in Richland, WA.
After the settlement, Jack said “We are very pleased that Walter can get on with his life after five years of litigation, and that he has been vindicated. This settlement sends a message to whistleblowers everywhere that integrity and truth are worth fighting for, and that you can win if you don’t give up.”
Tom Carpenter, Director of Hanford Challenge, a public interest group that helps whistleblowers from Hanford, commented, “This is great news for Walt and great news for the public. Walt is a hero who staked his career to raise nuclear safety issues that could have resulted in a catastrophe down the road. His issues were investigated and validated, and those safety issues are being scrutinized and corrected. This settlement brings justice to Walt, and is a necessary step in the quest to address a broken safety culture at Hanford that has historically punished employees for bringing forward concerns.”