MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A Minnesota district court judge ruled this week that the for-profit Globe University must pay over $500,000 in attorneys’ fees and related costs to Heidi Weber, who brought a successful whistleblower lawsuit against the school, and her legal team. Add in the $395,000 in damages awarded Weber by the jury when the case went to trial this past August, plus additional pre-judgment interest charges in excess of $70,000, and the total amount due Weber and her law firm, Halunen & Associates, from Globe University now approaches $1 million.
Tenth District Court Judge Tad Jude also denied Woodbury, Minn.-based Globe University’s motion for a new trial. The school argued that the jury award included punitive damages, even though it was not a punitive damages case. But the judge noted that the jury was well-schooled by the court on not awarding punitive damages. The $395,000 award was “within the Compensatory damages sought by the Plaintiff, and does not reflect an indication of a punitive damages supplement,” he wrote in his order.
A motion to reduce the amount of the jury award for being “excessive” was also denied by the judge.
“Justice was upheld,” says Clayton Halunen, an attorney with Halunen & Associates. “The judge affirmed the jury’s conclusion that our client was fired for doing the right thing by standing up against illegal advertising and recruiting practices. I don’t know what more we could ask for.”
“We are very pleased that the court supports the verdict of the jury in this case,” says Ross Stadheim, also an attorney at Halunen & Associates. “We’ve believed all along that our client, Heidi Weber, was irrefutably harmed by Globe’s actions against her – and that once the facts were out, no jury would find against her.”
The order dismissing Globe’s motions and announcing the assessment of attorney fees and costs was filed on Feb. 11. The case number is 82-CV-12-8297, on file in Washington County District Court in Stillwater, Minn.
Weber was fired after bringing evidence to members of the executive leadership at Globe about illegal and deceptive claims being made by the school in its student recruitment advertising materials and by school personnel paid to recruit students into the Medical Assisting Program.
About Halunen & Associates
With offices in Minneapolis and Chicago, the law firm of Halunen & Associates offers experienced legal representation to protect whistleblowers that have experienced retaliation or are planning to blow the whistle. They also offer experienced legal representation to individuals who are blowing the whistle on government fraud under the False Claims Act and other statutes. For more information on Halunen & Associates, visit the firm’s website at http://whistleblower.halunenlaw.com/.