Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Case settles as trial nears end in retaliatory discharge suit

By Amelia Flood | Jan 15, 2010

A Glen Carbon man's suit against his former employer for what he claims was his firing stemming from oil dumping in the Mississippi River settled Friday morning on the day the case likely would have gone to the jury.

Plaintiff Steven Howland said he was satisfied with the settlement reached Friday morning but had no further comment.

Howland was suing American River Transportation Company and its parent, Archer-Daniels-Midland, over claims of retaliatory discharge.

Howland claimed that he was fired in June 2007 because he witnessed the company flushing oil into the Mississippi River while he worked at one of the company's St. Louis sites.

He claims he was fired shortly after telling a supervisor that he would "tell the truth" to investigators from the United States Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The company alleged that Howland falsified reports and Howland admitted he had been disciplined for tardiness.

Howland's suit sought damages in excess of $50,000, punitive damages, and other remedies.

The trial began Tuesday after a day-long jury selection process Monday.

The plaintiff rested his case late Thursday afternoon.

The jury was called back Friday morning at 9:20 a.m. and presiding judge, Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder, announced the suit's settlement.

No details were available and Howland's attorney Lee Barron said there would not be.

The defendants were represented by Timothy Wolfe and others.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-500.

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Organizations in this Story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Archer Daniels Midland Company