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United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
July 20, 2022, Filed
Nos. 21-1195 and 21-1205
ORDER AND JUDGMENT1
Bruce Casias was an engineer working for defense contractor Raytheon. After 34 years without issue in the industry, Casias was instructed to falsify test results on a GPS program that [*2] would be used by the United States military. He reported those instructions and was demoted. At trial, a jury found Raytheon had violated the Defense Contractor Whistleblower Protection Act, and it awarded Casias damages of $1,043,000. We affirm.
Bruce Casias oversaw independent testing of a Raytheon GPS project designed for the U.S. Air Force. The project was going poorly—it was far behind schedule and more than a billion dollars over budget. In November of 2015, Casias's superior Joe Hollon instructed Casias to change certain data to make the project look more successful. Specifically, Hollon asked Casias to mark all incomplete tasks as complete.
In a phone call, Casias questioned the ethics of changing the data, but Hollon insisted, saying "Just do it." So Casias changed the data and sent it to the Air Force, as instructed. He immediately notified Raytheon leadership that Hollon had instructed him to falsify data. Over the next months, Casias received emails from the Air Force asking why the data was suddenly different. He responded only to defer the questions to Hollon. During this period, he repeatedly brought up his ethics concerns to Hollon and was chastised for doing [*3] so.
In May of 2016, Casias was reassigned from his testing role where he managed dozens of employees to a minor role managing only two employees. Hollon told Casias's replacement, David Martinez, that Casias had falsified data and was being removed from his position. Aplt. App., Vol. V at 1029. Casias felt that he was being punished for telling the truth about the data. He contacted Raytheon's Ethics Department and a Department of Defense hotline to report this.
Casias left Raytheon and took a position with Ball Aerospace. His salary, benefits, and rank at Ball were lower. He also experienced depression, health issues, weight changes, and relationship problems that led to divorce.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 19959 *; 2022 WL 2824256
BRUCE CASIAS, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. RAYTHEON COMPANY; RAYTHEON INFORMATION SYSTEMS COMPANY, and/or its business division: Intelligence, Information, and Services, Defendants - Appellants.
Notice: PLEASE REFER TO FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE RULE 32.1 GOVERNING THE CITATION TO UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS.
Prior History: [*1] (D.C. No. 1:17-CV-02635-REB-SKC). (D. Colo.).
Casias v. Raytheon Co., 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104005, 2021 WL 2213169 (D. Colo., May 3, 2021)
argues, demoted, district court, damages, adverse employment action, reassigned, employees, defense contractor, protected activity, reasonable jury, retaliated, falsified
Civil Procedure, Preclusion of Judgments, Estoppel, Collateral Estoppel, Governments, Courts, Judicial Precedent, Judgments, Res Judicata, Law of the Case, Trials, Judgment as Matter of Law, Judgment Notwithstanding Verdict, Postverdict Judgment, Business & Corporate Compliance, Whistleblower Protection Act, Scope & Definitions, Protected Activities, Labor & Employment Law, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Retaliation, Statutory Application, Whistleblower Protection Act, Covered Employees, Employment Practices, Adverse Employment Actions, Reassignments & Transfers, Relief From Judgments, Motions for New Trials