Success Stories & Settlements
TELG has been involved in SOX and whistleblower related litigation since the firm’s founding. Below we provide a brief rundown of some of the employee-friendly precedent that we and our clients have established.
Dos Santos v. Delta Airlines
In Dos Santos, TELG successfully argued for the extraterritorial application of the whistleblower protections under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (“AIR21”), 49 U.S.C. §42121. TELG’s representation not only led to a successful opposition to Delta Airlines’s motion to dismiss Dos Santos’s AIR21 claims, we also helped solidify the case law associated with the extraterritorial application of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Download PDF to read more
Fernandez v. Navistar Int’l Corp., 2009-SOX-43 (ALJ Oct. 16, 2009)
In Fernandez, the employer, Navistar, refused to produce in discovery the report of an internal investigation related to Fernandez’s disclosures which the employer had submitted to the SEC prior the plaintiff filing suit. TELG, on behalf of Fernandez, moved to compel production of the report. Ultimately, the ALJ ordered Navistar to produce the report, concluding that the employer’s disclosure of the report to the SEC waived attorney-client privilege and work product protection, despite the presence of a confidentiality agreement with the SEC. Though a very fact specific case, this was a major victory for employees who are litigating against employers in SOX retaliation cases.
Kalkunte v. DVI Financial Services, Inc
The Employment Law Group ® law firm practices extensively under federal whistleblower statutes on behalf of whistleblowers and notably served as lead trial counsel in Kalkunte v. DVI Financial Services, Inc. ARB Nos. 05-139, 05-140, ALJ No. 2004-SOX-56 (ARB Feb. 27, 2009). In Kalkunte the Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board (ARB) affirmed the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) holding that a privately-held company acting as a contractor, subcontractor, or agent of a publicly traded company can be held liable for violation of the whistleblower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”). The Kalkunte decision remains significant because it both defined the scope of liability under SOX and because it marked the first time that the ARB had affirmed an ALJ decision in favor for a SOX whistleblower plaintiff.
Kramer v. Trans-Lux Corporation
In 2012, in Kramer v. Trans-Lux Corp., 3:11CV1424 SRU, 2012 WL 4444820 (D. Conn. Sept. 25, 2012), TELG successfully argued for one of the first decisions in the country holding that a Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower need not make disclosures to the Securities and Exchange Commission in order to enjoy protections from retaliation at work. This decision expands the protections available to Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblowers and has set the stage for other decisions reaching similar conclusions elsewhere in the United States. In Fernandez v. Navistar Int’l Corp., 2011-SOX-31, TELG obtained a decision finding that a post-employment action may be found adverse and retaliatory under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Download PDF to read more.
Smith v. Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC
In Smith v. Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC., ARB No. 11-003, ALJ No. 2009-ERA-7 (ARB June 20, 2012), TELG successfully obtained a favorable decision from the ARB allowing the case of a nuclear power plant whistleblower to proceed to trial. This decision was significant for affirming that when an employer admits taking adverse action against an employee because of the employee’s protected activity, it is sufficient to demonstrate causation without further analysis. Download PDF to read more.
Stone v. Instrumentation Lab. Company
In Stone v. Instrumentation Lab. Co., 591 F.3d 239 (4th Cir. 2009), TELG obtained a decision affirming the absolute right of SOX whistleblowers to seek de novo review in federal court after a complaint has been pending before the Department of Labor for over 180 days without a final decision by the Secretary of Labor. Download PDF to read more.