A Minnesota district court judge ruled this week that the for-profit
Globe University must pay over $500,000 in attorneys' fees and related
costs to Heidi Weber, who brought a successful whistleblower lawsuit
against the school, and her legal team. Add in the $395,000 in damages
awarded Weber by the jury when the case went to trial this past August,
plus additional pre-judgment interest charges in excess of $70,000, and
the total amount due Weber and her law firm, Halunen & Associates, from
Globe University now approaches $1 million.
Tenth District Court Judge Tad Jude also denied Woodbury, Minn.-based
Globe University's motion for a new trial. The school argued that the
jury award included punitive damages, even though it was not a punitive
damages case. But the judge noted that the jury was well-schooled by the
court on not awarding punitive damages. The $395,000 award was "within
the Compensatory damages sought by the Plaintiff, and does not reflect
an indication of a punitive damages supplement," he wrote in his order.
A motion to reduce the aount of the jury award for being "excessive"
was also denied by the judge.
"Justice was upheld," says Clayton Halunen, an attorney with Halunen &
Associates. "The judge affirmed the jury's conclusion that our client
was fired for doing the right thing by standing up against illegal
advertising and recruiting practices. I don't know what more we could
"We are very pleased that the court supports the verdict of the jury in
this case," says Ross Stadheim, also an attorney at Halunen &
Associates. "We've believed all along that our client, Heidi Weber, was
irrefutably harmed by Globe's actions against her - and that once the
facts were out, no jury would find against her."
The order dismissing Globe's motions and announcing the assessment of
attorney fees and costs was filed on Feb. 11. The case number is
82-CV-12-8297, on file in Washington County District Court in
Weber was fired after bringing evidence to members of the executive
leadership at Globe about illegal and deceptive claims being made by the
school in its student recruitment advertising materials and by school
personnel paid to recruit students into the Medical Assisting Program.
About Halunen & Associates
With offices in Minneapolis and Chicago, the law firm of Halunen &
Associates offers experienced legal representation to protect
whistleblowers that have experienced retaliation or are planning to blow
the whistle. They also offer experienced legal representation to
individuals who are blowing the whistle on government fraud under the
False Claims Act and other statutes. For more information on Halunen &
Associates, visit the firm's website at http://whistleblower.halunenlaw.com/.
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