May 2014 Recent Jury Verdicts and Settlements

A summary of recent jury verdicts and settlements.

TX – A jury has awarded $11.7 million in back pay and benefits to a former Microsoft Corporation employee who alleged that a false sexual harassment claim led to events that forced him from his job.  The jury concluded that Microsoft managers “constructively discharged” the employee through reduced pay and discriminatory actions.  The employee was eventually compelled to resign.

US – The government has resolved seven lawsuits with healthcare companies accused of fraud.  The largest settlement, a $150 million deal with Amedisys Inc. will lead to payouts to whistleblowers.  The largest award, $15 million, will go to a nurse who was fired for questioning Medicare billing practices.

US – Lowe’s Home Centers will pay $6.5 million to settle an independent contractor misclassification class action lawsuit.  The suit alleged that home improvement contractors were misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees. Shepard v. Lowe’s HIW, Inc., No. 12-CV-03893-JSW (N.D. Cal. May 23, 2014).

US – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has awarded $240,000 to a whistleblower under its Dodd-Frank mandate.  Under the mandate, bounties are paid to informants who provide significant help which results in the government’s recovery of more than $1M.  Neither the whistleblower nor the type of information provided was released.

NY – A white police lieutenant has been awarded $1.35M in a racial discrimination suit.  The suit alleged that an available police chief’s job was awarded to a Hispanic officer with fewer qualifications and worse test scores. Barrella v. Village of Freeport et al, No. 12-CV0348 (E.D. NY May 28, 2014).

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