Whistleblower verdict and attorney fees are upheld
Rose Carlson cooperated with the Department of Agriculture when they showed up to inspect a gas station operated by Optima Oil Enterprises, Inc. and Ali Damsaz. The station manager, Carlson showed the inspector through the station and was candid about rat infestation, gas leaks or odors and all of the other extant problems on the site. Her boss was furious and fired her when he found out. She sued and recovered a verdict for $129,000 plus her attorney's fees, which the court valued at about $60,000.00. The station owners appealed arguing that the fees were excessive and that she had not proved a Whistleblower violation. The Court of Appeals rejected the defendants' appeal and upheld both verdict and fee award.