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Jan 31, 2016 11:05 AM

Whistleblower wins $31 million lawsuit against Seabrook Wal-Mart

MANCHESTER- After a three-year battle, a pharmacist has won her case against a Seacoast Wal-Mart on several claims, including gender discrimination.

For almost 20 years, Maureen McPadden had been a licensed pharmacist. Thirteen of those years were spent working at a the Seabrook Wal-Mart. But in November of 2012, she was fired.

NH1 News sat down with Maureen and her two lawyers, Richard Fradette and Lauren Irwin on Saturday, days after McPadden won a lawsuit against the company.

"Formerly being a pharmacist, I know that you don't fire a well-educated, competent, really nice person because they accidentally lost their key. That's just downright wrong," Fradette said of his client.

Though the loss of the key was given as the reason for her firing, McPadden felt that was just a cover for the real reason - she'd been vocal about safety issues at the pharmacy.

"You don't want to have a nice career tarnished by something like a lost key when that's not the real reason," McPadden said. "I was treated differently for being a female pharmacist. And not only that, there were many issues regarding safety in that pharmacy. I took it very seriously and that's why I was vocal with my concerns."

That's when Maureen reached out to Fradette and Irwin who represented McPadden in a case that eventually reached the federal courts.

"I wanted to take back the confidence that they took from me. And the self esteem that they took from me, and fight them and tell them they were wrong for firing be because I was just doing my job," Maureen said.

After a five-day trial ending on Jan. 27, the jury found in favor of Maureen and supported her claim of gender discrimination as well as wrongful termination. Wal-Mart was ordered to pay $31 million.

"The verdict was fantastic but in the long run I truly hope there will be changes as far as equality in the work place and making pharmacies safer for the public," McPadden stated. "We have to stand up, we have to make it better by saying something, doing something. I really believe in that."

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