Trial judge overturned, $113,000 judgment overturned, whistleblower case summarily dismissed as Court of Appeals rejects proof of retaliation
Barbara Bolish secured a $113,000 judgment against Miller Park Townhouses and Amherst Partners, LLC, after apparently proving in a 3-day trial that she was fired for reporting a work-related assault and battery to police. The majority of the Court of Appeals panel, composed of Republican appointees, substituted its judgment for that of the jury and overturned the lower court verdict.
The Republican judges held that the trial judge should never have allowed the case to go to jurors because the fired woman had not adequately established that she was fired in retaliation for filing a report with law enforcement. The Court of Appeals' majority cited the Defendants' explanations for the firing to justify its holding that the Plaintiff's proof of "close temporal proximity" between her report and the firing wasn't sufficient to explain the illegal termination. Under Republican dogma, wrongfully terminted employees must not only prove that they were fired immediately after blowing the whistle, they must also provide evidence that an employer representative admitted doing something illegal.