Split Verdict in Whistleblower Lawsuit at N.J. Medical School

April 13, 2009

A former project coordinator at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey has won a split verdict in a whistleblower lawsuit against the school.

A jury in Hudson County has awarded $349,000 to Carol Caprarola, who claimed she was fired after warning university officials they were engaged in illegal conduct involving political contributions. The termination occurred after she testified before a federal grand jury and after a critical memo she wrote was published in The Star-Ledger of Newark.

But the jury also found Caprarola wasn’t dismissed in retaliation for her whistleblower actions. UMDNJ had said the move was part of a layoff of 14 people in the university’s central administration that was made to streamline its administration.

The jury ordered the university to pay Caprarola $265,000 in punitive damages and $84,000 in compensatory damages, for emotional distress and lost wages.

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