Circuit Judge James D. Shelfer has ruled on an appeal filed in the case of David Odum vs. the Florida Department of Health and Kelly King.
As reported following the trial last October, Odum served as administrator of both the Calhoun and Liberty County health departments until he was terminated July 2, 2007. Odum alleged he was fired due to his age and the fact he exercised his rights under the Family & Medical Leave Act to care for his ailing spouse. Odum further alleged he was demoted, fired and made the target of false accusations after he reported and opposed unlawful practices.
Odum alleged King, who served as business manager for both the Calhoun and Liberty health departments, harassed him by filing a false complaint against him, as well as “continuing and perpetuating a campaign of harassment and retaliation against” him, creating a “hostile environment” for him and “participating in planting false stories” about him. He further alleged King “prepared bogus spending plans for Fiscal Year 2007, showing Calhoun County’s cash-to-budget ratio dropping to well below legislative mandates, and then back again to well above that ratio, which had the effect of presenting an utterly false portrait about Plaintiff and his job performance.”
Judge Shelfer denied the appeal filed by DOH and King requesting the verdict be vacated and a new trial be scheduled. However, Judge Shelfer approved the request to reduce the lost wages award to Odum from $307,766 to $154,320. The $300,000 the jury awarded for emotional pain and mental anguish still stands.