Carter v. Escondido Union High School, 148 Cal. App. 4th 922 (2007)

James T. Carter sued the Escondido Union High School District for wrongful termination in violation of public policy after the district declined to “reelect” Carter to his probationary teaching position because he informed the school’s athletic director that the football coach had recommended a nutritional supplement to a student. A jury awarded Carter damages of approximately $1.2 million. However, the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment after concluding that although “there may be sound policy reasons to bar football coaches from recommending weight gaining substances to high school students, there is currently no law that does so, any such prohibition must be enacted explicitly by the Legislature, not implicitly by the courts.” Cf. Rockwell Int’l Corp. v. U.S., 549 U.S. 457, 127 S. Ct. 1397 (2007) (former Rockwell engineer did not have “direct and independent knowledge of the information” on which allegations in qui tam suit under the False Claims Act had been made).