Supreme Court rejects whistle-blower's case - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Supreme Court rejects whistle-blower's case

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Courtesy MGN Online Courtesy MGN Online

The Louisiana Supreme Court has declined to take up a Baton Rouge landman's whistleblower case, ending his long-runnieg Environmental whistleblower lawsuit against the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.
A jury previously awarded Dan Collins $750,000 in the lawsuit, which centered around a state-funded dredging project in Bayou Postillion.
Although the department's Atchafalaya Basin program billed the early 2000s project as a water quality project, Collins found that the work instead cleared the way for mineral extraction to benefit private, politically connected landowners.
Collins later claimed in a whistleblower lawsuit that when he raised concerns about the project, he lost work. A jury in 2015 agreed that the state pulled his contracts in retaliation.
But an appeals court in April overturned the jury's decision, finding that because Collins was a contracted worker, he did not qualify as a state employee protected under whistleblower laws. 
Without giving reason, the state's high court last Wednesday did not dispute the opinion.
Collins issued a statement this week in response to the development:
"The facts of the trial remain unchanged! A jury of my peers agreed and awarded my firm $750,000 plus interest and attorney fees for exposing the corruption and the resulting retaliation by the State which denied contracts that my firm once received. After that court victory, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal claimed that the jurors were "manifestly in error" since neither myself or my firm was a governmental employee and thus had no standing to bring forth the lawsuit to begin with. And now the Louisiana Supreme Court is turning a blind eye by refusing to review the case. Clearly, that decision appears to be politics as usual in Louisiana. As our Louisiana congressional delegation pleads for national support amounting to billions of dollars for coastal restoration, we expose this corruption yet no one remains accountable, despite a unanimous jury decision. The events remain unchanged, there was no dispute of the facts by any court, and the only difference is that the judiciary has taken away the judicial award to me and my firm for bringing forth this 10 year odyssey and novel of despicable behavior. The guilty remain untouched. Is this the end of the story? No, just another chapter, one of which the rest of the country should be aware."

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