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Home / Opinions / Courts / 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals / Employer – Employee : Wrongful Termination – Whistleblower Law – Emotional Distress

Employer – Employee : Wrongful Termination – Whistleblower Law – Emotional Distress

(1)Where an employee claimed that he was wrongfully terminated by a pharmaceutical company for reporting a doctor’s Medicaid fraud and for cooperating in the subsequent investigation, the defendant did not show that the suit was time barred, and the evidence was sufficient for a reasonable jury to find that decision makers knew that the employee had engaged in protected activity, and the defendant did not show that it was entitled to a new trial based on the district court’s refusal to give an adverse inference instruction.

(2)Where a defendant in a whistleblower case argued that the district court should not have ordered it to reinstated the employee because his position would have been eliminated even if he had not been fired, even if reinstatement was not mandated by the law, the court did not abuse its discretion, and the court’s refusal to remit a back pay award was also not an abuse of discretion.

(3)Where a jury awarded $568,000 in emotional distress damages in a whistleblower wrongful termination case, the plaintiff’s financial difficulties had started before his termination, so the district court abused its discretion by relying upon that evidence when it declined to grant remittitur, so on remand the plaintiff may accept remittitur to the amount of $300,000 or may have a new trial solely on the issue of emotional distress damages.

Judgment is affirmed in part; reversed in part; remanded.

Townsend v. Bayer Corporation (MLW No. 67262/Case No. 13-1468 – 29 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Bye, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, Moody, J. (John Jay Myers, Pittsburgh, argued for appellant; Edwin L Lowther Jr., Michael A. Graziano and Francis Joseph Nealon appeared on the brief) (Julie DeWoody Greathouse, Little Rock, Arkansas, argued for appellee; Charles A. Banks, Kimberly D. Logue, Brian D. Reddick and Joseph Hamilton Kemp appeared on the brief).

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