Powers v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
2008-CA-000081 10/30/09 2009 WL 3486423
Opinion by Judge Acree; Chief Judge Combs and Senior Judge Buckingham concurred.
The Court affirmed a judgment of the circuit court entered pursuant to a jury verdict in favor of an employer on an employee’s claim that her employment was terminated in violation of the Whistleblower Act, KRS 61.101 et seq. On cross-appeal, the Court first held that the employer was not entitled to a directed verdict as appellant reported a co-worker’s alleged violations to her own agency, which was an appropriate authority under the statute. On direct appeal, the Court then held that the evidence that appellant’s employment was terminated because her services were no longer needed was sufficient to support the jury verdict finding that her whistleblowing activity was not a material factor in the decision to terminate her employment. Therefore, the trial court did not err in denying appellant’s motions for directed verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The Court finally held that because the jury’s verdict was supported by substantial evidence, the denial of appellant’s motion for a new trial was not clearly erroneous.