An Anchorage, Alaska man was awarded $3.5 million after a jury concluded he was wrongfully terminated by his supervisors in 2008. The Anchorage Daily News reported that the whistleblower managed approximately 40 workers for Shaw Environment and Infrastructure, which had been under contract to uphold facilities at two military bases.
According to the lawsuit, the whistleblower found out that Shaw’s Alaska project manager was a co-owner of another company that was leasing $2 million in equipment to Shaw, often without a competitive bid. Shaw billed the military bases for the leasing expense, the lawsuit alleged.
The whistleblower wrote a letter to the CEO and was fired shortly thereafter. Shaw said they were removing his position to save money. The suit was filed in October 2009 for wrongful termination and age discrimination.
Following a 12-day trial, a jury concluded that Shaw was wrong to fire the whistleblower and that it did so because he attempted to expose a corporate self-dealing. The jury awarded the whistleblower $445,574 in lost wages and $486,458 in non-economic damages for emotional distress. A day later, the jury announced an award of $2.5 million in punitive damages.