Casner & Edwards

Defense verdict obtained before a jury for an employer

In May of 2005, a client's right to fire its at-will employee was vindicated when Robert Murphy and Matthew Lunenfeld obtained a defense verdict following a jury trial in Norfolk Superior Court. The plaintiff claimed that his employment was protected by an exception to the general rule that employees may be terminated at any time for no reason - that is, that an at-will employee may not be terminated if to do so would be a violation of public policy. The plaintiff claimed that his termination was in violation of Massachusetts public policy because he had reported another employee for alleged internal expense account fraud. Following a four-day trial, a jury quickly agreed with the employer that the plaintiff had not been terminated improperly, reaching its decision after deliberating for approximately one hour. No settlement offer was made to plaintiff prior to verdict.

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