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Governments have immunity under Va. whistleblower law

A county employee who reported misdeeds by his supervisor – and was promptly fired – cannot sue for retaliation under the Virginia whistleblower law because the county is protected by sovereign immunity, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled today.

There is nothing in the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act to indicate a waiver of the sovereign immunity of the commonwealth and its subdivisions, the court held in Ligon v. County of Goochland.

David Ligon claimed he was fired from the Goochland County buildings and grounds department for opposing misconduct by his boss. His lawsuit against the county was dismissed on demurrer, and the high court now has affirmed.

By Peter Vieth

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