Woman owes pharmaceutical giant $2M after lawsuit backfires spectacularly


This Novartis employee is on some strong Kwale weed. When I saw this story, all I could think was Village People 1: Woman 0. Why would you even contemplate suing a giant like Novartis over employment issues while your hands were unclean?? Would you not take whatever you’ve made from them (illegally) over the years and quietly skulk away? But no; village people were using her photograph to do hand fan. And Novartis unleashed the seventh circle of hell on her and her family. And quite rightly too. This heifer here:

*A Novartis employee’s lawsuit claiming discrimination has backfired badly, resulting in the court awarding the pharmaceutical giant nearly $2 million for fraud and legal fees.

Afoluso Adesanya was fired in 2013 after continuing to work from her Bucks County home despite being ordered to work at the company’s East Hanover facility.

She quickly sued, claiming discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act because she had told supervisors her commute triggered back pain.

As the legal case moved forward, however, Novartis learned she had been doing outside consulting work for two potential competitors – including a small pharmaceutical development firm she ran with her husband, also a physician, according to court papers.

Novartis also alleged she had lied on her application, falsifying the name of a previous supervisor and inflating the salary she claimed to earn there – at the same time hiding the fact she was a co-owner of the company.

She worked for Novartis as a brand safety leader within its oncology business unit, earning an annual base salary of $198,000 from 2010 through most of 2013. She also received a signing bonus and relocation pay.

When the discrepancies in her background were uncovered, her attorney quit the case, according to court papers.

Once those discrepancies were presented to the court, her lawsuit was dismissed last August. Novartis then sought reimbursement for the salary and benefits payments made to her, as well as for legal fees.

The company argued it paid for her to work for Novartis full-time, not to spend her time on outside employment.

U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton agreed earlier this week, awarding the company nearly $1.4 million for wages and other incentives paid to Adesanya, as well as another $480,000 in legal fees.

It is unclear whether the pharmaceutical company will recover any of the money awarded by the court. The Pennsylvania house owned by Adesanya and her husband, Adenekan Adesanya, is scheduled to be sold in a Sheriff’s Sale later this month.

While the house is valued at about $1.2 million on real-estate websites, the couple owes more than $1.6 million on it, according to the Sheriff’s Sale legal notice.

Sometimes corporations pursue a legal case even though it may not make sense economically, said two experts in business and law.

“They want to send a signal that you can’t mess with us,” said Michael Barnett, professor of Management and Global Business at Rutgers Business school. “You can’t get away with attacking them.”

“It’s deterrence,” said Douglas Eakeley, who runs the Center for Corporate Law and Governance at Rutgers University’s School of Law. “You don’t want to invite similar employees or former employees to take you on. So the corporate mentality is, ‘We need to make an example sometimes of egregious cases to make sure they don’t recur.'”

Defending the case so vigorously – Novartis at one point had five outside attorneys working on the case – might end up costing the company more than it could ever collect, “But that is not the point,” said Eakeley.

Companies are also sensitive to the public relations aspect of any suit involving the Americans with Disabilities Act – whose victims can appear sympathetic to the general public.

“The ADA is a pretty tricky law, and they don’t want to be on the wrong side of that,” Barnett said. “They don’t want to be seen as the type of company that violates the ADA. That’s a big reputational thing.”

Dr. Adesanya could not be reached for comment.*

I can’t stop laughing. Nonsense and ori e ti daru! This one is thinking that this is Naija government work where they will have ghost workers and their descendants will continue collecting the salary even after they’re dead and gone. Mrs Adesanya should just change her name to Mrs Jones. The royal household has turned their back on her and her husband and she’s ouchea disgracing us in the abroad. Taaaah!

*Whole post as seen on Facebook.

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