Morris v. Ashland Inc. (N.D. Ill.)

We represented a large chemical company in a dispute involving a former truck driver who alleged he was terminated in violation of the Illinois Whistleblower Act and in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Following plaintiff’s refusal to haul a load in excess of legal weight limits, plaintiff became involved in an argument with his supervisor, and plaintiff claimed his supervisor assaulted him during this meeting. Plaintiff subsequently filed a workers’ compensation claim for the injuries allegedly sustained during the meeting. While investigating plaintiff’s assault allegations, the company discovered evidence establishing that plaintiff was not assaulted as he claimed, and he had in fact falsified evidence in support of this false report. Plaintiff was subsequently terminated for filing a false report. The court granted summary judgment for our client, finding that our client showed it terminated the employee’s employment based on its honest belief he falsified information related to his alleged assault.