The Iowa Supreme Court says the legal fees awarded a whistleblower at Iowa State University need to be refigured.
Dennis Smith was a technical writer in the ISU Engineering Department who was awarded $500,000 in damages for emotional distress after he reported financial wrongdoing by his boss and said he was treated unfairly. He was also awarded $784,000 for whistleblower violations by the school.
The Iowa Supreme Court later lowered the whistleblower award to $150,000. With the verdict in the case decided, the district court then ordered that Smith’s full $368,000 legal bill be paid by the school. But the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that not all the legal work was related to the whistleblower claim.
It sent the case back to the district court to refigure how much of the legal fees Smith should be paid.