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Fired insurance executive awarded punitive damages

In spite of being illegal, wrongful termination sometimes happens to Texas employees. However, if this happens, it’s your right to file a wrongful termination lawsuit. An insurance executive recently won his case on this very issue.

What happened that led to the wrongful termination lawsuit?

A former senior vice president of Farmers Insurance won his wrongful termination lawsuit. He was awarded over $155 million for being fired in retaliation for testimony he was slated to give in a class-action lawsuit made by the company’s in-house female attorneys, according to court records.

The verdict included punitive damages of $150 million. The man ran the legal offices for Farmers and worked for the company for 37 years before he was fired. He was promoted to senior vice president in 2013. However, the relationship between the executive and the company deteriorated when he agreed to provide testimony in the class-action lawsuit. He was a witness and knew that there was clear bias in the pay the female lawyers received. He was fired before giving that testimony and the class-action suit was settled.

What damages were awarded in the wrongful termination lawsuit?

Farmers expressed its disappointment in the verdict. Breaking down the damages the plaintiff received, the jury awarded him $3.4 million in past economic damages, $1 million in future economic damages and $1 million in non-economic damages or emotional distress. The jury determined that the firing constituted retaliation for his plans to testify in the class-action lawsuit and that it violated California law.

Although the plaintiff claimed that he was fired for his age and medical condition, the jury claimed it did not decide the outcome of the case due to those factors. His lawyers claimed that he was used as a scapegoat in being fired after the class-action lawsuit was filed as Farmers refused to acknowledge its own failures.