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Idaho Supreme Court: No cap on awards for whistleblowers

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Posted at 2:29 PM, May 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-29 16:29:19-04

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Supreme Court says there is no cap on how much money juries can award to whistleblowers who sue their employers.

The Idaho Statesman reports that in the unanimous May 24 ruling, the high court said Idaho’s whistleblower law trumps the state’s tort claim statute.

Idaho’s tort claim law limits the amount of money that can be awarded to people who sue public agencies to $500,000 for each occurrence or accident. But the high court said the Whistleblower Act doesn’t cap damages, and so the tort claim caps don’t apply.

The ruling came in the case of Idaho State Police crash investigator Brandon Eller, who said ISP retaliated against him because he testified against another officer in a court hearing. A lower judge had reduced Eller’s jury award of $1.5 million, but the Supreme Court ruling means Eller will get a new trial to determine his non-economic damages.