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Wrongful Firing Law Is Upheld

June 30, 1989|From Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. — A Montana law limiting the damages people may collect when wrongfully fired does not deprive employees of their rights under the state constitution, a divided Montana Supreme Court ruled Thursday in upholding the law.

A dissenting justice, however, said the decision clears the way for a legislative onslaught against plaintiffs' rights in lawsuits, adding, "It may be the blackest judicial day in the history of this state."

The court's 4-3 decision may have national implications because other states are considering "wrongful discharge" statutes similar to Montana's, said Joel P. Kelly, a Los Angeles lawyer who represented a company that was sued in the Montana case.

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