Whistleblower files retaliation lawsuit against Mead Johnson
Former global compliance director alleges improper termination
A former employee of Mead Johnson Nutrition has filed a lawsuit claiming she was improperly terminated for raising safety and compliance issues.
Linda O’Risky, who was formerly Mead Johnson’s global product compliance director, claims that in March 2015, she began raising concerns about leaking seals on infant formula bottles. The bottles had been manufactured several months earlier, which O’Risky believed could mean that defective seals had entered the market.
According to the complaint, O’Risky spent seven months raising compliance concerns and trying to persuade management to comply with Food and Drug Administration regulations. Individuals assigned to investigate the seals claimed they did not rise to the level of a food safety problem, because leaks would be readily apparent to consumers. O’Risky argued that defective seals could allow contaminants into the packages after sterilization.
O’Risky was terminated in November of 2015. The lawsuit alleges that her firing violated the whistleblower protections of the Food Safety Modernization Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as being an illegal retaliatory discharge under Illinois law.