Bio-Rad Laboratories has agreed to pay $3.5 million in legal fees for the team that represented former general counsel Sanford Wadler during a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit Wadler brought against his former employer, reports MassDevice.com.
The agreement came after a federal jury in California awarded Wadler $11 million in the lawsuit he brought against Bio-Rad. The jury awarded Wadler $2.9 million in back pay and stocks and $5 million in punitive damages, with the back pay award slated to be doubled, bringing the total award to $10.8 million, reports.
“Wadler, who was fired in 2013, alleged that he was let go right before the company was planning to present findings from a bribery investigation in Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. Wadler accused the company of stonewalling his efforts to uncover evidence of similar bribery in China,” Faulkner writes.
Writing about the case on the website of Baker Donelson, shareholder Robert E. Hauberg Jr. explains that the court had ruled Wadler could use as evidence otherwise privileged materials, because the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s protection of whistleblowers pre-empted the attorney-client privilege. (See “Whistleblower General Counsel Prevails Through Use Of Attorney-Client Privileged Information.”)