An aircraft mechanic, Mr. Evans, sued his former employer, Embraer Aircraft Maintenance Services, Inc. (Embraer), for wrongful termination of his employment in retaliation for his reporting of alleged safety regulation violations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Embraer denied Mr. Evans’ allegations and claimed that it terminated him for legitimate, non-retaliatory reasons after he used his personal cell phone to take a video during an aircraft maintenance check flight instead of performing his duties. He also then posted that video on Facebook, which violated company policy. Mr. Evans claimed Embraer’s stated reason for his termination was a pretext, that Embraer had retaliatory intent, and sought actual and punitive damages, demanding a $3 million settlement on the eve of trial.
Waller defended Embraer throughout the dispute, which cumulated in a three-day jury trial. Following the presentation of evidence on both sides, the jury returned an absolute defense verdict, finding that Mr. Evans failed to establish that his report to the FAA was the sole or substantial cause for his termination. This was an important case to Embraer, as it stood strong by its safety policies and as it gave Embraer its first jury trial victory in the United States.
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