A child welfare employee has won a million dollar jury verdict in Palm Beach County, Florida, according to the Miami Herald. Gerolyn Shapiro says that she was fired because her testimony pointed to the negligence of another county employee. Shapiro had worked for the county’s Department of Children and Families for ten years. She testified that the negligence resulted in the deaths of two children and the severe brain injury of a third child.
Notably, Shapiro’s testimony occurred years before her 2006 discharge. The jury was apparently unmoved by how the county managers allowed Shapiro to continue working for years after the testimony at issue, and was still able to connect the dots to find that the manager’s anger over the testimony was still the cause of the discharge. This case well explains why whistleblowers everywhere need to have access to juries to have confidence that the legal system will protect them.