In a smashing success for Mike Elliott, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals resignedly affirmed the large jury verdict award in favor of Mike Elliott for BNSF’s violation of the FRSA or Whistleblower Act. As the attached memorandum indicates, each and every argument BNSF put forward on appeal was shot down in summary fashion.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Substantial evidence supports the jury’s finding that Elliott’s safety complaints were a “contributing factor” in the investigative hearings and Elliott’s termination. Substantial evidence
    likewise supports the jury’s findings that BNSF did not sincerely and honestly believe Elliott actually engaged in misconduct warranting dismissal.
  • Moreover, areas on the able jury “could have concluded BNSF manufactured the physical altercation with his supervisor to create a pretext for the retaliatory actions.”
    With the affirmation of the verdict, BNSFs only recourse now is to appeal to the United States Supreme Court, where it is very unlikely the court will agree to hear this case. Therefore, Mr.Elliott has received vindication once again an affirmation of his $1,250,000 verdict which included $1,000,000 compensatory damages, $250,000 in punitive damages as well as over $400,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs. Mr.Elliott plans to tax his attorneys’ fees and costs for having won at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals as well. Congratulations to Mr. Elliott.

Interested in reading the full United States Court of Appeals document for the Elliott case?

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