» Austin Employment Attorney Argues Important Case Before Texas Supreme Court

Austin Employment Attorney Argues Important Case Before Texas Supreme Court

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 6, 2011 - The Texas Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in the case of Safeshred, Inc. v. Louis Martinez, III. At issue in the case is whether an employer can be held liable for punitive damages if it fires an employee for refusing to engage in an illegal act. Austin employment lawyer Gregory D. Jordan represents Martinez in this case.

Texas has long recognized that an employer cannot fire an employee for refusing to commit an illegal act. This exception to the employment at will doctrine has become known as the Sabine Pilot exception, in recognition of the case in which this law was created. Until now, however, the Texas Supreme Court had never decided whether an employee could collect punitive damages in a Sabine Pilot claim.

Austin Business Litigation Lawyer and Employment Attorney, Gregory D. Jordan

Austin employment attorney Gregory D. Jordan

Austin employment attorney Jordan notes, “Abusive conduct that promotes illegal activity must be deterred. The only effective way to deter such devastating conduct is with the threat of punitive damages. Safeshred needs to be held responsible for trying to force an employee to do something illegal that jeopardized him and the driving public.”

Martinez was a lower paid driver of an 18-wheeler for Safeshred who was fired when he refused to haul a load of 20’ long steel uprights and steel shelves that were illegally loaded on a flatbed trailer. Martinez would not haul the illegal load because he felt it presented a serious risk to the driving public and himself.

Safeshred fired Martinez and then hired another driver to haul the illegal load. When the load was hauled, it broke free and crashed through the cab of the 18-wheeler. Martinez sued Safeshred for wrongfully terminating him for refusing to haul the illegal load.

Austin employment lawyer Jordan successfully represented Martinez at trial. The trial court entered a judgment against Safeshred that included approximately $7,500.00 for lost wages and $200,000.00 for punitive damages. The Austin Court of Appeals affirmed those parts of the judgment and Safeshred appealed again to the Texas Supreme Court.

“Safeshred acted with malice in firing Mr. Martinez,” said Jordan. “It further acted with total disregard for the health and safety of Mr. Martinez and the public when it told Mr. Martinez to haul the illegal and unsafe load. It needs to be held responsible.”

The Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan represents both employees and employers in employment litigation matters. To learn more about the Austin employment lawyer and Austin business lawyer Gregory D. Jordan, please go to www.theaustintriallawyer.com or call (512) 419-0684.

Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan
5608 Parkcrest Drive, Suite 310
Austin, Texas 78731
Call: 512-419-0684

Other Practice Areas offered by the Law Offices of Gregory D. Jordan

  • Business Litigation
  • Trademark and Copyright Litigation
  • Hospital Retaliation
  • Overtime and Wage Claims
  • Personal Injury
  • [mappress mapid="39"]

    • Texas appellate court rules against owner of royalty interest in fraudulent inducement lawsuit
      A Texas appellate court held that the owner of a royalty interest could not claim fraudulent inducement with regard to its settlement with a Shell Oil affiliate that operated the oil and gas property. In 2014, a Texas state court jury found that the Syrian American Oil Corp. (Samoco) was fraudulently induced into entering a [...]
    • Eight ex-employees of Texas sanitation company claim racial discrimination
      Eight African American employees of a Texas sanitation company have filed a lawsuit claiming discrimination and retaliation. Dantrell Patterson, Lamonte Young, Demetrius Patterson, Tadarious Dixon, Keithdrick Patterson, Jarvis Hill, Jermaine Bell and Derrick Robert filed the lawsuit against Sanitation Solutions Inc. in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas on April 20. The [...]
    • Pipeline owners file $300 million breach of contract lawsuit against midstream operator
      An amended breach of contract lawsuit was filed by Magellan Midstream Partners and Plains All American Pipeline against Stampede Energy, seeking over $300 million in damages over an oil transport deal. The lawsuit claims that Stampede did not meet minimum volume obligations on the BridgeTex pipeline from March 2015 through 2016, breaching its contract. The [...]

    See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,

    Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

    * indicates required