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Law Offices of Elizabeth “Booka” Smith, LLC Blog


January 28, 2016: Jury Awards Wal-Mart Pharmacist $31M in Whistleblower Retaliation/Sex Bias Lawsuit

On January 28, 2016, a jury awarded more than $31M in
damages to Maureen McPadden, a former Wal-Mart pharmacist who claimed she was
illegally fired because she reported safety concerns about co-workers
dispensing prescription medication. McPadden, who is 51 years old and had been
employed by WalMart for 13 years, was fired in 2012 after losing her pharmacy
key. McPadden filed her lawsuit in 2014, alleging that losing the key was a
pretext for the firing and the firing was harsher than the progressive
discipline policy her male colleagues were afforded. In the few years before
her termination, McPadden began to notice that high turnover, understaffing and
inexperienced staff in the pharmacy posed a serious threat to the privacy and
safety of patients. In 2011, she reported her concerns to the New Hampshire
Board of Pharmacy. The New Hampshire jury awarded most of the $31M on
McPadden’s gender discrimination claims, but also found that the termination
was in retaliation for her whistleblowing activities. McPadden reported to the
press she felt in her soul that it was her duty to keep her patients safe and
cited that as a motivating factor in enduring the lengthy battle against
WalMart, which lasted over three years. McPadden told the press she observed
the jurors listening very intently at trial, and she felt the jurors wanted to
send a message to WalMart that it did something wrong. Attorneys for WalMart
indicate they will ask the New Hampshire federal court to set aside the verdict
or reduce the damages. The verdict in McPadden’s case against WalMart is
representative of a trend in the US of intolerance for retaliatory terminations
of employees who blow-the-whistle on health and safety concerns. The Law
Offices of Elizabeth “Booka” Smith, LLC represents plaintiffs in whistleblower
retaliation lawsuits. If you are a current or former employee who is or has
been subjected to adverse employment actions for whistleblowing, CONTACT US to schedule
an appointment to discuss the viability of legal claims and potential

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