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DuPont to Pay $500,000 in Damages in Whistleblower Lawsuit
DuPont Chamber Works is to pay out $500,000 in damages to a Millville man after a New Jersey Superior Appellate Court ruled in his favor. The plaintiff, John Seddon, had sued the chemical company after employees retaliated against him for reporting a potential safety hazard in 2003.
The plant where Mr. Seddon worked produced phosgene, a substance used for, among other things, the chemical warfare agent, phosgene oxime. Seddon had been targeted because he had filed a complaint with OSHA, and he was “punished” by having his hours cut and being given poor evaluations from his superiors.
In response, Seddone sued DuPont under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act. In the initial lawsuit filed in 2004, Seddon was awarded $2 million in damages. However this decision was overturned in the appellate court, which cited Seddon’s inability to prove that his employer’s retaliatory actions were designed to make him quit. The New Jersey Superior Court then overturned this decision and reaffirmed the finding of the lower court, albeit for a smaller amount of damages.
DuPont representatives claim that Seddon’s OSHA complaints were unfounded and that no such retaliations occurred.
The state of New Jersey goes to extreme lengths to protect the rights of whistleblowers, because workplace hazards are an important concern, both for the safety of the workers and for the safety of the public in general.
If you or a loved one has been injured at the workplace, get the legal advice and representation today from a qualified New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney. Call today for a free initial consultation with experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney Dan Matrafajlo.