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Insurers, corporations enjoy a good (5-0) day in Michigan appeals court: Whistleblower claim is one of five dismissed

Sharon Anzaldua was assigned to be the Responsible Agent at Neogen Corporation's Lansion plant, delegated the duty to limit access to a laboratory where  botulism vaccine would be manufactured.  She was required to accompany all visitors, and in that capacity, she was with the local Labor Department boiler inspector who wrote up the company for an undocumented, illegal boiler in 2007.  She was then told that if the inspector returned, she was not to talk to him and that someone else would accompany him through the plant.   When the inspector did return, the plaintiff accompained  him to the Bot suite and answered his questions about another unregistered boiler.  She was terminated by the employer and ultimately filed suit alleging an illegal retaliatory firing that violated public policy.

The Court of Appeals held that because her cooperation with a government  "inquiry or investigation" led to her firing, the Defendant had violated the Whistleblower's Protection Act.  Since that act requires that suit to be filed within 90 days, and because Anzaldua did not file within 90 days, her lawsuit was dismissed.  The Court held that her termination-in-voilation-of-public-policy claim could not be pursued, even though it has a longer statute of limitations, because the claim fit wihin the definition of a whistleblower violation.
Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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