Supreme Court throws out wrongful termination award to trucker

04/25/2012 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // justicenews // Justice News Flash

Texas – A truck driver awarded more than $200,000 for a wrongful termination claim was deemed ineligible to receive a substantial portion of it by the Texas Supreme Court on Friday. As reported by, the court ruled that trucker Louis Martinez III, who was awarded $200,000 in punitive damages for a claim stemming from his refusal to drive a truck he deemed improperly loaded and unsafe, was not eligible to receive punitive damages because malice was not proven to be a factor in his firing.

Martinez was fired by Safeshred Inc. in 2007 after refusing to drive a truck used to transport steel shelving that was not loaded or secured properly, as indicated in court records. For his wrongful termination claim, Martinez was awarded $7,569 in lost wages and $10,000 for mental anguish in addition to the $200,000 punitive damage award by a jury. The $10,000 award was tossed out by a lower court, which determined he was ineligible to receive mental anguish damages, prior to the recent Texas Supreme Court ruling.

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