Jury Finds in Favor of Whistleblower Awarding $750,000 for Firing Him in Retaliation

After two weeks of trial, the News Tribune reports that former Kennewick Irrigation District (KID) engineering manager, Brad Wellenbrock, received a jury verdict in his favor.

Mr. Wellenbrock claimed that KID fired him in retaliation for whistleblowing for its violations of KID policies and practices. Namely, in 2007, the KID board president, Loren Watts, allowed his personal business, Watts Construction, to take unwarranted amounts of KID water meant to serve a park, to siphon water off to a property that did not have KID water rights, and to commit other egregious violations.

After Mr. Wellenbrock complained to his boss about the violations, the KID board hired Doug Grover as secretary-manager at the end of 2007. Mr. Wellenbrock argued that the board hired Mr. Grover on condition that he remove Mr. Wellenbrock's position, which Mr. Grover completed by February 2008, firing Mr. Wellenbrock. In this case, the jury found that Mr. Wellenbrock had been terminated in retaliation for whistleblowing and awarded the former KID engineer $750,000.

If you have witnessed your company make fraudulent claims to the United States government, you may have a qui tam lawsuit and be entitled to a share in any recovery obtained by the government. The skilled Attorneys at Weinstein Caggiano PLLC devote their practice to helping whistleblowers navigate qui tam claims. From our offices in Seattle, we represent clients nearby in the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska, as well as others across the nation.

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