Whistleblower Case/Employment Discrimination

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Attorney Bruce Newman litigated an action through trial and appeal and the Second Circuit this year upheld a verdict, along with punitive damages and attorney's fees of $2.28 million in McClain v. Pfizer, Inc. Becky McClain, a molecular biologist at Pfizer's Groton, CT facility, was terminated following her filing of a claim with OSHA concerning safety within the labs. The trial court ultimately struck a count for willful and wanton misconduct against Pfizer, but the jury returned verdicts on the state whistleblower count and the state free speech count, Connecticut General Statutes Sections 31-51m and 31-51q and found that Pfizer's conduct warranted punitive damages which were ultimately awarded by the Court and affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeal with a panel that included Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, sitting by designation.