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Wrongful termination claim made in stem cell case

Stem cell companies are often in the headlines, with many aspects of the work debated publicly. With this spotlight consistently on their business, managers must take care that all rules governing their processes are strictly adhered to. If they aren't, there could be a public backlash that would affect the business and its clients. An employee of a stem cell company said that he brought such problems to bosses and was fired. In response, he filed a wrongful termination claim.

The stem cell company gets millions of dollars of funding from the government. That amount includes grant money paid by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The money comes with the condition that the company will follow strict manufacturing processes. Indeed, according to the complaint filed in the case, the company contends that its processes are what they need to be to produce stem cells that are safe for transplantation.

The fired employee says that isn't so. He says that patients are at risk of contracting infections or even of death due to deficiencies in the stem cell line. He also says that when he complained about that, he was fired. He then sued the company, alleging that it was in violation of the California False Claims Act. He also claimed wrongful termination and retaliation.

The man was the senior manager of the company's manufacturing facility. He claimed that he noticed poor sterile techniques there. He also alleged that there were deficiencies in the stem cell lines. His complaints were not well-received by company management and he was taken off the job.

Some wrongful termination cases have a good deal of evidence provided by the plaintiff, including emails and other documents. Others may not have as much. Experienced employment attorneys can advise clients about how they can use whatever evidence is available in their case.

Source:  Courthouse News, "Whistle-Blower Alarmed at Stem Cell Work" Elizabeth Warmerdam, Jul. 16, 2014

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