Whistleblower’s claim ‘sufficiently specific’ to continue with lawsuit

December 18, 2014

A woman who claims she was fired after she blew the whistle about alleged accounting violations by her boss can move forward with her lawsuit against her former employer.

Dawn Duty filed a complaint against the Boys and Girls Club of Porter County and then-president Charles Leer after her employment was terminated. She claims the club wrongfully discharged her and Leer tortiously interfered with a business relationship.

The Porter Superior Court granted the defendants’ joint motion to dismiss on the grounds that Duty failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

However the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned part of that decision. In Dawn Duty v. Boys and Girls Club of Porter County and Chuck Leer, 64A03-1407-PL-255, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of Duty’s claim against the Boys and Girls Club but it reversed the dismissal of her claim against Leer and remanded for further proceedings.

The defendants argued Duty was not specific enough about Leer’s “wrongful conduct,” instead making only an unsupported statement that Leer did not have any justification for his alleged conduct.

The Court of Appeals found Duty’s allegation to be “sufficiently specific.” She claims Leer said and did things to get Duty fired in retaliation for her telling another club official about Leer’s and the financial officer’s financial practices that violated good accounting practices, policy and recommendations. In addition, she alleges Leer’s actions were vindictive.

Consequently, the Court of Appeals found that under Trial Rule 12(B)(6), Duty has stated a claim upon which relief can be granted for tortious interference with a contractual relationship.



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