Joe Macktal was a journeyman electrician who worked for Halliburton Brown & Root (HB&R) building the Comanche Peak nuclear plant. After exposing serious safety defects at the plant, lawyers for HB&R coerced Mr. Macktal into signing a “Hush Money” settlement agreement that prohibited him from telling the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) about his safety concerns. Mr. Macktal complained of the restrictions, and was warned that the powerful corporation would: “follow him to the ends of the earth,” and ruin him financially. Mr. Macktal stood up to the nuclear industry and reported his safety concerns.
Mr. Macktal called on the attorneys at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto to represent him in court. His case resulted in a nation-wide ban on restrictive settlements in nuclear and environmental cases and the right of employees to blow the whistle on safety issues was not compromised during the settlement process. Mr. Macktal’s case set national precedent for whistleblowers prohibiting money for silence settlements.