Court overturns Whistleblower verdict for school employee; orders new trial
Beverly Know-Pipes sued the Genessee Intermediate School District under the Whistleblower Protection Act. She was awarded a verdict in the amount of $760,000.00. The school district appealed and last month the Court of Appeals overturned the verdict. The appellate judges ruled that her participation as a witness in a lawsuit involving the school district did not constitute protected activity because she was not "required to give testimony." The judges also disputed the jury's analysis of the defendant's employees' testimony and held that she presented inadequate "direct" evidence of retaliation.
Before the Michigan Courts became so political, judges did not engage in this kind of parsing of the weight given to admissible testimony by jurors. With a highly political Supreme Court, however, it is pretty clear that the Court will sustain and approve of any holding that will deny court access to an injury or employment claimant.