The Inbox, Almost-Derecho Edition

| William A. Schreiner, Jr.

Another fun week here at our headquarters in Washington, D. C., where a predicted large storm turned out to be mainly a bust, leaving forecasters to debate why.  Here, though, are a few items that without debate are of interest:

  • Johnson & Johnson won at the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a whistleblower’s suit.  The whistleblower had alleged J&J was paying kickbacks, but was unable to prove those allegations through discovery during the suit, and the appellate court held that the trial court’s limits on discovery were legitimate.   
  • Staying in the whistleblower theme, the U. S. Department of Labor agreed to pay an alleged whistleblower $820,000 this week, following a 2012 court finding that Labor – ironically enough – created a hostile work environment and tampered with the long-time employee’s leave balances.   
  • But whistleblower claims have their ups and downs – like the elevator inspection business.  This week, the D. C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that a zealous inspector could not muster enough support for his claim that his supervisors retaliated against him after he complained that his employer, the District of Columbia’s department that regulates and inspects elevators, wasn’t being thorough enough in its task. 
  • And finally, here’s a colorful dispute we’ll keep an eye on between Larry Connors, a former anchor at KMOV-TV in St. Louis, and the station.  Connors was fired shortly after he claimed that the IRS targeted him for an audit after he did a harsh interview with President Obama.  He then filed suit, alleging he was fired without cause in violation of his contract.  This week, Connors rejected the station’s offer to resolve his case, saying KMOV’s condition that he not work in the St. Louis broadcasting market was unacceptable.  We’ll keep an eye on this one.