Riverboat Services of Indiana, Inc. v. Gaffney
The plaintiffs in this case were merchant marine officers formerly employed on a large gaming vessel operating on Lake Michigan. The district court found, and the court of appeals affirmed, that the plaintiffs were fired by their employer Riverboat Services for reporting a violation of safety regulations to the Coast Guard.
The employer petitioned the Supreme Court for review. The petition challenged the court of appeal’s conclusion that the plaintiffs were terminated in violation of the seaman’s whistleblower statute, 46 U.S.C. Sec. 2114, and it raised questions about proof of causation and the award of punitive damages.
Public Citizen served as co-counsel in the U.S. Supreme Court, to draft the brief in opposition to the petition. The opposition was successful; the Court denied review.