News Digest 9-6-2019

Quote of the day

“We have seen this case go to the Iowa Supreme Court twice to answer legal questions and we’ve seen a jury of Iowans provide a unanimous verdict. We know enough now … We, as taxpayers, shouldn’t be paying any more for it.”

Rob Sand, Iowa State Auditor, regarding a jury’s decision that awarded $1.5 million to a former state official who accused the state’s former governor of trying to force him to resign on the basis of his sexual orientation

Radio Iowa



City of Austin could face lawsuit after contractor’s fatal fall at airport

The city of Austin, Texas could face legal action after a 48-year-old contract worker fell into a grease trap at the city’s airport in April and died the following day. Two other workers involved in the accident were able to pull themselves out of the trap. Statesman


Iowa: Auditor opposes appeal of $1.5M verdict for former workers’ comp commissioner

Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand says taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay to appeal a jury’s decision that awarded $1.5 million to former Workers Compensation Commissioner Christopher Godfrey, who accused the state’s former governor, Terry Branstad, of trying to force him to resign on the basis of his sexual orientation. The state has already paid nearly $2 million in the past seven years for private lawyers who defended Branstad. Radio Iowa


Arizona fireman wins benefits after denial

The decision to deny a Glendale, Arizona fireman, who is battling job-related multiple myeloma, workers’ compensation has been reversed. According to the city’s mayor, the city’s attorneys previously believed an independent third-party administrator’s decision to deny claims couldn’t be overturned, but last week the Industrial Commission of Arizona told the city it could override claim decisions. KTAR


Labor Department rules in favor of whistleblower

Houston, Texas-based energy infrastructure company Kinder Morgan Inc. must pay a former employee back wages, damages, and attorney’s fees after an investigation found the company violated the whistleblower provisions of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act when it terminated an employee who informed a contractor of the company’s attempt to avoid complying with spill reporting requirements. Southeast Texas Record