Walmart Ordered to Pay NH Pharmacist $31M

Employment Law - Rick FradetteAttorney Richard E. Fradette, who is both a pharmacist and a New Hampshire trial attorney with Beliveau, Fradette, and Gallant PA represented New Hampshire Pharmacist Maureen McPadden in a lawsuit against retail giant Walmart. Following a five-day trial, a federal court jury awarded Ms. McPadden $31M for gender discrimination, whistleblowing, and wrongful termination.

McPadden has been a licensed pharmacist since 1988 and worked for Walmart for over 13 years at the time she was fired.  In 2012, while working at Walmart’s Seabrook pharmacy, Ms. McPadden reported to management legal and safety concerns, including public safety risks due to untrained and insufficient technician staff at the pharmacy which she believed led to an increase in prescription errors.  Shortly thereafter, she claims that Walmart fired her under false pretenses by using the loss of a pharmacy key as an excuse to get rid of her.  Ms. McPadden also claimed that Walmart discriminated against her based on her gender.  The jury found in Ms. McPadden’s favor on state and federal gender discrimination claims as well as New Hampshire’s Whistleblowers’ Protection Act and common law wrongful termination claims.

Atty. Fradette reported that his client is sincerely appreciative to the jury for their attention to the evidence, the judge’s instructions, and their verdict. Eight New Hampshire residents viewed the evidence up close and determined that pharmacist McPadden was competent, genuinely concerned for public safety, and male pharmacists who she worked with were treated more leniently than she was in terms and conditions of employment. In his opening statement, Atty. Fradette noted that we are rarely given the opportunity to “right a wrong.” By their verdict, the jury did justice for pharmacist McPadden; for the consuming public who’s prescriptions are filled at Walmart; and for Walmart, emphasizing that the willful or reckless disregard of the law will not be tolerated.

Attorney Lauren Simon Irwin of the law firm of Upton & Hatfield, LLP served as co-counsel for the case, which has garnered widespread media coverage.

Media Coverage

Worker wins $31 million suit vs. Seabrook Walmart (Newburyport News, Jan-30, 2016)

Fired Wal-Mart worker who claimed gender bias awarded $31M (Associated Press, Jan-29, 2016)

Former Wal-Mart pharmacist awarded $31million after claiming she was wrongly fired because of her gender when she lost her pharmacy key (Daily Mail, Jan-29, 2016)

Former Walmart worker awarded $31M in lawsuit (WMUR TV Jan-30, 2016)

Whistleblower wins $31 million lawsuit against Seabrook Wal-Mart (WBIN TV Jan-31, 2016)

Former Walmart worker awarded $31M in lawsuit (WMTW Jan-29, 2016)

Walmart Guilty Of Gender Bias? Woman Takes On Retail Giant And Wins $31M (International Business Times Jan-28, 2016)

Wal-Mart Must Pay $31.2M in Gender Discrimination, Whistleblower Case, Says Jury (HR Compliance Expert, Jan-29, 2016)

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Image credits:
Walmart courtesy of Mike Mozart via Flickr

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