A New Jersey firefighter who was awarded $3.5 million by a jury last year for a whistleblower violation will have to settle for $500,000, according to a three judge panel from the Superior Court Appellate Division.
Ridgewood firefighter Kevin Reilly claims he was passed over for promotion to lieutenant because he reported that his superiors violated safety requirements. In 2012 a superior court jury agreed he was retaliated against, and awarded him $3.5 million in damages.
That verdict was subsequently reduced to $500,000 by Judge Menelaos Toskos who characterized the award as “shockingly high.”
Reilly appealed the reduction and yesterday the Appellate Division affirmed Judge Toskos’s decision calling it “comprehensive and thoughtful.”