Mechanic fired for refusing to break law wins $176,000

August 14, 1994|By Michael James | Michael James,Sun Staff Writer

A Baltimore County jury has awarded $176,000 to a former employee of a Rosedale truck dealership who was fired after he refused to issue inspection documents on a vehicle he believed had serious flaws.

In his lawsuit, Edward R. Narizzano of Bel Air had alleged that his supervisors at Beal GMC Truck Inc. fired him from his automechanic job because he would not go along with their orders to issue inspection stickers for a 1975 Peterbilt truck.

Mr. Narizzano was awarded $89,000 in compensatory damages and $87,000 in punitive damages Friday.

Jurors found the truck dealership and its owners liable for wrongful discharge and conspiracy arising from the June 1993 firing, court documents showed.

"Mr. Narizzano was an honest employee who was just trying to obey the law," said Julie C. Janofsky, his lawyer. "The company forced him to make a choice between keeping his job and obeying the law. No one should be asked to make that choice."

The truck, according to the lawsuit, did not meet inspection requirements and had badly worn brake drums, broken frame cross-members, three badly worn tires, inoperable lights, and brake lines that were chafed and hanging loose, among other problems.

When Mr. Narizzano said "that he could not lawfully or in good conscience issue inspection documentation for the vehicle, the Beals nevertheless demanded that such documentation be issued anyway," the law suit said.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit were Harvey Beal Jr., the general manager of the business; Harvey Beal III the company president; and Wesley Beal, director of parts and service for Beal GMC, in the 7600 block of Pulaski Highway.

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