A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments: April 15th. Exposing Misconduct.

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments: April 15th

April 15, 2019

Whistleblower Developments is a periodic report covering significant cases, decisions, proposals, and legislation related to whistleblower statutes and how they may impact your business. Recent developments include:

  • Fifth Circuit Affirms SOX Dismissal for Failure of “Reasonable Belief”
  • CFTC Issues a Hefty Whistleblower Award to Single Whistleblower
  • Federal Appellate Court Upholds Nearly $8 million Whistleblower Verdict
  • SEC Issues $50 Million Whistleblower Award – Its Third-Largest Single Award

Fifth Circuit Affirms SOX Dismissal for Failure of “Reasonable Belief”

On February 15, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in Wallace v. Andeavor Corp., No. 17-50927 (5th Cir. Feb. 15, 2019), affirmed dismissal of a Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower because it concluded that the plaintiff did not have an objectively reasonable belief that the defendant company had violated the SEC’s reporting requirements. The case had previously been remanded by the Fifth Circuit because it had concluded that the plaintiff had pleaded a reasonable belief regarding potential SEC disclosure violations that could survive the company’s motion to dismiss. See Wallace v. Tesoro Corp., 796 F.3d 468, 474-75 (5th Cir. 2015). After discovery, the district court had granted the company’s motion for summary judgment and the plaintiff again appealed.

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