Former Orkin Pest Control Employee Collects $5M in Whistle-Blower Lawsuit

A former Orkin Pest Control employee was recently awarded over $5 million for exposing the company to illegal insecticide spraying operations in New Jersey. It is thought to be one of the largest whistle-blower awards in the state.

What happened

Robert Still, an Orkin Pest Control employee in New Jersey for 19 years, was asked to spray termite insecticides at a home when the ground was still wet – a practice that is against federal, state and even the company’s own regulations. He told his supervisor as much, but was told to ignore the regulations. Shortly afterwards, he was suspended and then terminated from his job.

He had discovered that Orkin had been asking unlicensed employees to violate the same regulations by spraying chemicals. He decided to expose the company over their illegal practices – and won. A Camden, New Jersey jury found in his favor and awarded him over $5 million - $4 million of that was for emotional distress and another $1 million was for punitive damages against the company. The award is thought to be the largest whistle-blower verdict in the state of New Jersey.

What is a whistle-blower lawsuit?

A whistle-blower lawsuit, also known as a Qui-Tam lawsuit, allows you to file a lawsuit against your company if you discover that it is involved in illegal activities. Even if you were involved in the wrongdoing, you may still pursue an action. Your employer is prohibited by law from retaliatory acts against you for filing a Qui Tam suit, such as demotion, suspension, threats, harassment or any other types of discrimination. The consequences for retaliation are steep. The False Claims Act provides for reinstatement, double back pay with interest, and special damages, including legal expenses and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

If you’ve witnessed illegal activity at your company and are contemplating a whistle-blower lawsuit, or if your employer has retaliated against you after complaining, contact an attorney to discuss your situation. Consultations are free, without obligation and strictly confidential. To contact a qualified attorney, please click here.

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