Meet the Whistleblower

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.

Articles from the Archives:

The Dallas Morning News: N-plant settlement is blasted

The Washington Post: Nuclear Workers’ Silence Probed

The Sun: Senate panel reports cover-up at nuclear plants

The Dallas Morning News: Payments to N-plant workers reported

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Workers paid not to testify

The New York Times: N.R.C. Bars Paying Whistle.Blowers for Silence

The Washington Post: NRC Knew of Whistle-Blower Payment

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Senate panel to study Comanche Peak pacts

The Washington Post: NRC Did Not Object to Contractor Buying Whistle-Blower’s Silence

Dallas Observer: The Whistle-blower Mr. Macktal goes to Washington

Empire-Stephenville Tribune: Macktal Set To Outline Nuke Goofs

The Nation: The Co-opting Of CASE

The Nation: Silence is Golden

In The Nation: Ethics and safety suffer meltdown at Texas nuclear power plant

The Progressive: Buying Silence: Cash-starved whistleblowers zip their lips

Houston Chronicle: Feds Scrutinize HL&P firings

The Energy Daily: Reich Decision Bans Nuclear Hush Money

The Dallas Morning News: Comanche whistleblower case may affect others, lawyer says

Prevention of Corporate Liability: Labor Secretary rejects settlement requiring whistleblowers to keep mum

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