Decisions – Miss.S.Ct. – April 7, 2016

Steven Lee Boggs  v. State of Mississippi –  404(b) evidence – Boggs was convicted of gratification of Lust and sentenced to 15 years. On appeal he argues that the court allowed in improper character evidence that he had inappropriately touched other minors.  The COA finds that this was not error and affirms.  “This Court later reaffirmed its decision in Gore by holding that “overwhelming similarities” between prior instances of sexual misconduct and the charged offense ‘undeniably bring the testimony of these other victims within the purview of admissibility under Rule 404(b).’”

Henry Roop v. Southern Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Glen Lingle and Douglas E. MartinMcArn wrongful termination – “Henry Roop sued Southern Pharmaceuticals Corporation (“SPC”) and its principal owners, individually, claiming he has been terminated for reporting illegal activity, namely a kickback scheme to be carried out through a straw employee. SPC countered that it fired Roop for, among other things, not meeting his contract goals for the year. A jury found SPC wrongfully terminated Roop for reporting illegal activity, and the jury awarded Roop compensatory damages.”  The trial court granted the employer’s JNOV .  On appeal, the Supreme Court reverses and reinstates the jury’s verdict.  “Under the plain meaning of the statute, the alleged activity Roop reported–SPC’s offer to Patrick to ‘hire’ Josephine to ‘work’ for them, but that she in fact would perform no work but receive a commission on Patrick’s referrals to SPC from Central Medical–was illegal” even though she was not in fact hired.  The  trial court had found that a mere offer of employment was not illegal activity.  “Roop argues that this analysis by the trial judge  overlooks the part of the anti-kickback statute which makes even an offer of a kickback illegal. We agree.”

 

 

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