Ex-BNSF employee from Iowa awarded $1M by federal jury

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A former BNSF Railway employee has won more than $1 million in a wrongful termination lawsuit.

The Lincoln Journal Star says (http://bit.ly/2k09g6y ) Daniel Monohon, of Ottumwa, Iowa, was fired from a Lincoln branch of Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF in 2014 for what the railroad said was insubordination.

Monohon says he was fired after he questioned BNSF’s policy of requiring employees to wear seatbelts while driving a vehicle that can operate both on rail tracks and a conventional road. Monohon’s attorneys, Corey Stull and Jeanette Stull of Lincoln, argued that his firing was a violation of the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act.

A federal jury in Iowa agreed and awarded Monohon $1,031,000 in lost pay and other damages.

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Fort Worth-based BNSF says it will ask the court to set aside the verdict and will appeal.