Judge Herbert Cade was set to hear arguments from attorneys seeking dismissal of the state of Louisiana as a defendant in a wrongful termination case against the Orleans Levee District (OLD) in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.
Orleans residents Ulysses Williams and Theodore Lange are suing the OLD and former president, Jim Huey, after they were allegedly fired without due cause in 1996. The 13-year-old suit claims that Huey "threatened" Lange's employment if he did not fire Williams and that Lange's employment "would be in jeopardy if he did not sign an order to proceed with work on a $22 million overpass project."
The suit also claims that Lange, who was terminated in February 1996 but then reinstated and before being fired again in May, was told to fire Williams for his role as a whistleblower against the OLD towards Louisiana. The plaintiffs claim that the State is liable under Louisiana whistleblower statutes.
Special assistant to the attorney general Greg D'Angelo has submitted a motion for exception of no cause or right of action and a motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss Louisiana in this case.
The motion states that, "Mr. Lange does not allege that office of the Governor threatened him or was in any way responsible for the Levee District's decision in May 1996 to fire him."
It also claims that Lange does not qualify for damages under the Louisiana whistleblower statute because he was not the whistleblower, Williams was, and because the statute was enacted in July 1996, after Lange was terminated.
New Orleans attorney Patrick Klotz is representing the plaintiffs in this case.
Orleans Parish Case 1997-04950