On September 28, 2016, a Wake County Superior Court Jury (Raleigh, North Carolina) found that former North Carolina State Trooper Reginald Newberne had been wrongfully fired by the Department of Public Safety for reporting misconduct by other troopers implicated in the unjustified assault of a young man during an arrest and awarded compensatory damages of $1.9 million, including $700,000 in economic damages to Mr. Newberne’s career and $400,000 in non-economic damages. The jury also found that the violation was willful, entitling Mr. Newberne to attorneys’ fees, costs, and potentially additional damages.
The trial brought closer to an end Mr. Newberne’s long fight for justice, which started with his reporting of facts to his superiors at the Highway Patrol that suggested several fellow troopers had used excessive force, and then lied to cover up the incident, in the arrest of young man for suspected drunk driving in May 2000. Mr. Newberne had already faced dismissal of his case before trial twice, and in each case the appellate courts reinstated his suit. When Doyle LLP got involved to try his case, Mr. Newberne had been fighting for his right to present his case to a jury for over 15 years. Especially in light of the ongoing spotlight on police actions in America, Mr. Newberne’s case points to the urgent need to support honest reporters of misconduct within the ranks of law enforcement, not retaliate against them.
Michael Patrick Doyle, the lead trial lawyer on the case, stated that “Reginald Newberne was fired for violating the Code of Silence that too often protects those who violate their position of trust to commit misconduct, and we were proud to bring Mr. Newberne’s 16 year fight for justice to a successful trial conclusion.”
If you or someone you know have been retaliated against by your public or private employer for reporting misconduct, fraud, or abuse, contact the experienced trial attorneys at Doyle LLP for more information and guidance on the legal options for your claim.