Even when we’re not representing you, we’re protecting you.

MEMPHIS, TN- APRIL 27, 2015- Glankler Brown attorneys Robert D. Meyers, Ryan M. Skertich and Brandon D. Pettes recently served as lead counsel for the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association in front of the Tennessee Supreme Court in Haynes v. Formac Stables, Inc., 2015 WL 1408917 (Tenn. Mar. 27, 2015), in which the Plaintiff asserted claims for retaliatory discharge pursuant to both the common law and the Tennessee Public Protection Act, T.C.A. §50-1-304 (2014), alleging that the owner of the business had engaged in illegal conduct and then terminated the Plaintiff’s employment when he acted as a whistleblower by complaining of the conduct to the owner. In his complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that he suffered an injury to the head when kicked by a Tennessee Walking Horse named “Bruce Pearl.” The Plaintiff maintained that he asked Formac’s owner for permission to leave work so that he could seek appropriate medical treatment. The owner refused, informing the Plaintiff that the only treatment he would allow was for a veterinarian to seal the wound with horse sutures. The Plaintiff’s pleadings stated that he submitted to the stitching procedure only because he feared losing his job.

The trial court dismissed the Plaintiff’s claims because he had not reported the illegal activity to anyone other than the alleged wrongdoer (here the owner). The Court of Appeals affirmed. Glankler Brown attorneys wrote the Amicus Curiae, and helped persuade the Tennessee Supreme Court to affirm the Tennessee Court of Appeals in ruling that to invoke the protections of the Tennessee Public Protection Act, the employee must report the illegal activities to someone other than the wrongdoer, which may require reporting to an outside entity when the wrongdoer is the manager, owner or highest ranking officer within the company. The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals.

Notwithstanding this favorable decision for employers, all claims of illegal activity asserted by employers should be taken seriously and investigated.

Finally, we do not recommend adding a veterinarian to your workers compensation physician panel.

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