October 20, 1998
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MARY BULLWINKEL, Director - Public Relations
CHANDLER CASE DISMISSED
A federal district court has dismissed the wrongful termination lawsuit of
former Pacific Lumber Company employee Stan L. Chandler. Chandler had filed
suit against Pacific Lumber and its parent corporation, MAXXAM Inc., in
June 1997 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California. The suit claimed that management had put profit ahead of worker
safety by exposing Chandler and other timber fallers to unsafe and
dangerous working conditions. Pacific Lumber and MAXXAM denied the
allegations asserting that Chandler had been terminated for falsifying the
timber-falling reports upon which his pay was determined.
In a twenty-two page decision, federal Judge Claudia Wilken dismissed all
claims against Pacific Lumber and MAXXAM holding that Chandler had
"presented little more than speculation and unsupported assertions" and, in
fact, had admitted "committing an offense that justifies termination." The
court also found that Chandler had not demonstrated that his alleged safety
complaints were even reasonable.
The dismissal was a complete vindication for Pacific Lumber. Commenting on
the ruling, John A. Campbell, president and chief executive officer of
Pacific Lumber said, "The suit was totally without merit. The employee was
terminated because of discrepancies in his reports on the number and size
of the trees he cut. It's as simple as that."
Chandler was represented by several attorneys who have filed suits against
the Company on a number of environmental and other issues.
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