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jury 15 articles

Globe University must pay whistleblower nearly $1 million for wrongful termination, legal fees

A Minnesota judge has ordered Globe University to pay nearly $600,000 in attorney’s fees and related costs to a former dean who sued the school in April 2012 for allegedly firing her in retaliation for exposing fraudulent practices. Globe will have to pay the hefty fees on top of the $395,000 a jury awarded her last year for wrongful termination. Heidi Weber was fired from her position as dean of Globe University’s medical assistant department in 2011 after she accused the school of publishing false job-placement rates and inaccurate job salary statistics in an effort, she claimed, to lure prospective ... Read More

Jury convicts BP engineer for obstructing investigation of Gulf oil spill

A jury in a federal New Orleans court convicted former BP drilling engineer Kurt Mix on one count of obstruction for deleting text messages and voicemails from his cell phone that he was supposed to preserve as evidence in the ongoing BP trial and investigations of its massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The deadlocked jury appeared to be headed for a possible mistrial Tuesday before finally reaching a verdict in the case on Wednesday. The obstruction of justice charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. The jury acquitted Mr. Mix of ... Read More

Former Atlantic City Police Chief wins whistleblower suit alleging retaliation

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A New Jersey jury has awarded Atlantic City’s former chief of police John Mooney $3.7 million, finding that city officials retaliated against him by cutting his job in 2010 after he reported alleged fraud and illegal activity by the City, Mayor Lorenzo Langford, and then-Public Safety Director Christine Petersen. Mr. Mooney’s whistleblower lawsuit alleged that the City Hall retaliated against him, using mass layoffs as a guise because it had no other justification in firing him after he exposed the alleged wrongdoing. A New Jersey Superior Court judge previously ruled that he was not in a ... Read More

Jury awards New Mexico whistleblower thousands in lost wages and benefits

SANTA FE, N.M. – A jury of 12 has ordered the New Mexico Department of Health to pay a former employee $134,000 in lost pay and benefits she lost after being fired from her job for reporting alleged wrongdoing within the agency. Jennifer Smith had been employed by the state health department for six years before she was fired in July 2012. She filed a whistleblower complaint against the department, alleging her supervisors harassed her and retaliated against her for calling out financial mismanagement within the HIV Services Program. Her allegations included failure to compensate providers, missing budget data, and ... Read More

Jury awards former dean $395,000 in whistleblower case against Globe College

A college dean who sued her former employer, Globe University, for allegedly firing her in retaliation for complaining about deceptive and unethical practices at the for-profit school was awarded $395,000 by a Minnesota jury. According to plaintiff Heidi Weber’s lawsuit, Globe University fired her from her position as dean of the medical assistant department in 2011 after she accused the school of publishing false job-placement rates for graduates in an effort, she claimed, to mislead prospective students. Ms. Weber also alleged that Globe failed to provide adequate training for students in the school’s medical programs, and that Globe paid commissions ... Read More

Vermont jury awards woman $43 million for injuries blamed on defective car seat

BURLINGTON, Vt.—A jury in Chittenden County, Vt., has awarded $43 million to a woman who became quadriplegic when her 1999 Dodge Neon car seat failed in a traffic collision. Some legal experts believe the award is the largest personal-injury award in Vermont’s history. Essex Junction resident Dzemila Heca and her two sons, Kenan and Emir Heco, sued Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls, Inc., the manufacturer of the car seat in Ms. Heco’s 1999 Dodge Neon. According to the lawsuit, in August 2007, Ms. Heco had been stopped at a traffic light in Essex when another vehicle struck her car from behind. Ms. ... Read More

Jury awards Virginia man $14 million in Hyundai defective-airbag case

PULASKI, Va.—A circuit court jury ruled last week that Hyundai Motor America must pay $14 million to a Radford, Va., man who sustained severe traumatic brain injuries when the airbag in 2008 Hyundai Tiburon failed to deploy in crash. The verdict may be a record for a defective-product lawsuit in Southwest Virginia. Zachary “Gage” Duncan was 16 when the Hyundai he was driving hit a tree in 2010. Injuries to his head left him in a coma for a week. Now 20, Mr. Duncan has permanent brain injuries that require him to receive special care for the rest of his ... Read More

Exxon Mobil must pay NH $236 million for widespread groundwater contamination

The longest state trial in New Hampshire history ended Tuesday with a jury verdict against Exxon Mobil Corp. for its role in polluting groundwater with MTBE, a gasoline additive. The jury ordered the oil giant to pay the state $236 million, the amount New Hampshire officials sought to clean up and monitor the groundwater contamination. According to the Associated Press, the jury returned its verdict in less than 90 minutes, after listening to nearly three months of testimony. Exxon Mobil began adding MTBE to its gasoline in the 1990s in order to reduce smog levels and meet federal Clean Air ... Read More

Toyota moves to settle sudden-acceleration lawsuit chosen as first bellwether case

In what appears to be a move to keep potentially damaging cases from trial, Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to settle a sudden-acceleration lawsuit filed by the families of two people killed in a 2010 crash in Utah. The case had been scheduled to go to trial February 19 as the first of three bellwether cases involving runaway Toyota vehicles. The cases were selected to represent the larger body of wrongful death and personal injury litigation the Japanese auto giant faces over allegations that its vehicles contain a defect that can cause them to accelerate suddenly and unexpectedly. Details of ... Read More

Jury awards Illinois worker record $4.16 million for work-related fall injuries

CHICAGO, ILL—A DuPage, Illinois County court awarded a Chicago-area man $4.16 million for serious injuries he received while providing the city of Elmhurst an estimate on fixing a broken garage door spring. Court records state that Joshua Jaeger, 29, went to an Elmhurst Public Works garage in November 2009 to examine the repair needed. A city employee lifted Mr. Jaeger, a garage door serviceman, 16 feet into the air with a forklift. When Mr. Jaeger moved from one side of the platform to the other, the platform gave way, sending Mr. Jaeger crashing to the concrete floor below.  Mr. Jaeger ... Read More