Saturday, March 20, 2010

Meehan Wrongful Termination Suit Dismissed

In the United States, anyone can file a lawsuit. But some are more brazen than others.

In the ranks of people who violated procedures in the lacrosse case, only Mike Nifong exceeded DNA Security lab director Brian Meehan. Working in concert with Nifong, Meehan produced a “report” that didn’t list all the results from his lab’s tests—in violation of state law and lab accreditation standards. That the withheld material just happened to be exculpatory was, apparently, just a coincidence.

Then Meehan tried to bluff his way through the Dec. 15, 2006 court hearing, at first denying that he hadn’t reported all of the tests results, only to admit—under a brutal cross-examination from Brad Bannon—over and over and over again that he had done so. He even admitted that his company didn’t follow its own policies. A few minutes later, Meehan told Jim Cooney that he and Nifong had, in fact, entered into an agreement not to produce the information. A few months later, Meehan gave such a meandering performance in the Nifong ethics hearing that Lane Williamson dubbed him “Mr. Obfuscation.”

Meehan’s conduct exposed his employers to massive legal liability; it’s unknown how much DNA Security has had to pay thus far to defend against lawsuits resulting from Meehan’s performance and inquiries from agencies threatening to revoke DSI’s accreditation. So it should hardly have come as any surprise that DSI fired Meehan—to have kept him on staff not only would have effectively endorsed his handling of the lacrosse case, but would have ensured that no law enforcement agency could ever risk hiring the company again.

Incredibly, Meehan sued DSI for . . . wrongful termination. He brazenly suggested that the company’s reasons for dismissing him were “untrue and immaterial.” (How Meehan could have concluded that his violating state law and national accreditation standards was “immaterial” to evaluating his job performance was unclear.) Instead, the former lab director suggested, he had lost his job because DSI wanted to avoid paying him cost-of-living increases(!).

Meehan wildly added, as the Burlington Times-News drily noted, that DSI’s decision to fire him caused a “loss of professional reputation, mental anguish and emotional distress, loss of quality and enjoyment of life and other damages.” What “professional reputation” Meehan had left after his performance in the lacrosse case the former lab director didn’t say.

This argument was so weak that Senior Resident Superior Court Judge J.B. Allen Jr. of Alamance County granted DSI’s request for a summary judgment and dismissed Meehan’s lawsuit before it ever made it to a trial.

The decision was an obvious one: if Brian Meehan couldn’t be fired for “just cause,” it would be difficult to imagine a scenario in which such a rationale would be permitted.


One Spook said...

If there ever was a lawsuit that perfectly merited a defendant's request for summary judgment for dismissal, Meehan's suit was it.

As a friend commented to me, Judge Allen did Meehan a favor in dismissing his suit by sparing him having to pay the defendant's legal fees.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

First the disbarment of Nifong, then his jail time (one day, definitely not enough), then the National Mendacity Tour and the resulting book failure, and now this. It's good to see a little bit of actual justice being meted out.

There's a long way to go, though, before the books will balance. The most glaring impediments to achieving balance are: (1) the incredible insulation Duke's faculty is experiencing, resulting in little or no real consequences for their ugly and harmful actions, so long as they meet a groupthink standard for political correcness; (2) the various local governments and their minions attempts to hide behind prosecutorial and governmental immunity; and (3) the MSM's ability to continually try to rewrite history to save its members from public shame.


Anonymous said...

One Spook is correct - the judge did Meehan but I would argue two, rather than just one. He saved Meehan further embarrassment for a trila would only have brought to light even more so how venal and stupid Meehan is. His family and he were spared further the further ridicule that a daily reporting would have entailed.
While the wheels of justice are grinding slowly - as least there is some forward momentum.


f1guyus said...

Longest journey begins with a single step.

Quasimodo said...

Actually, I would have liked to have seen Meehan deposed about exactly what he did during the lax case--in detail.

And who told him what.

And who asked him to do what.

I want every member of the frame team under oath and answering questions in as many forums as possible.

Yesterday. (Or now, if that is impossible.)

Anonymous said...

I disagree with One Spook (1:20 AM) on one point: I do not believe justice was done. Was canning Meehan a sufficient punishment, and deterrent to future would-be perpetrators of this kind of shameful conduct? He was in a position of trust; he was required to be completely objective -- just the facts. Yet he lied on the witness stand; and he colluded with Nifong to produce a dishonest report of his work, which was used to try to frame three innocent victims of a REAL crime.

Isn't this cause for criminal penalties? His actions were, after all, deliberate. He could hardly plead simple negligence.

And we wonder why so many people have so little respect for the legal system!

Gus W.

Gary Packwood said...

It was Meehan's agreement with Nifong that should have alerted Duke, Durham and journalists across the country that a true conspiracy was underway to destroy the lives of college students.

When lawyers and scientists conspire to harm, something is terribly wrong.

And Meehan and Nifong were but the tip of that human iceberg of cold, cruel people.

Perhaps we have identified the cast members of this little theatre but I still don't think we have figured out the real plot.

Anonymous said...

Is Meehan a Copmmunist?

Anonymous said...

Really couldn't have happened to a more deserving individual ------- Steve in New Mexico

Anonymous said...

I'm quite certain he was deposed and his deposition will be in the record of the current litigation.

The sad part is this case had to go all the way to Summary Judgment. I'm sure it cost DSI in excess of 50k to 'win'.

Anonymous said...

As of March, 25, 2010, Mangum has been locked up in the Durham County jail for 36 days. There is some satisfaction in that. There is also satisfaction in the dismissal of Meehan's lawsuit.

Now, if only the Duke student newspaper would end their censorship of comments on their online board. Then, we could harpoon some of the faculty whales.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Is Meehan a Communist?
3/23/10 8:37 AM

He can't be a Communist, because if he was one and unemployed, he'd've been hired by an Ivy League college already.