Former sales rep accuses Novo Nordisk of wrongful discharge

By Robert Hadley | Mar 29, 2016

CHARLESTON – A Raleigh County man says the pharmaceutical company where he worked fired him after he blew the whistle on alleged illegal sales practices.


CHARLESTON – A Raleigh County man says the pharmaceutical company where he worked fired him after he blew the whistle on alleged illegal sales practices.

Douglas A. Palmer filed a lawsuit March 4 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Novo Nordisk Inc. and its manager, Shawnee Lewis, alleging unlawful retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Palmer, a Novo sales rep in Kanawha County for seven years, was instructed by Lewis to mention the negative side effects of competitors’ medications when pitching customers for a new drug, Invokana, the suit alleges. Believing this tactic to be illegal, the suit says, Palmer refused and instead cooperated with Novo’s internal investigation of those sales practices. Palmer says he was terminated on March 6, 2014, in retaliation for his refusal to use the allegedly restricted sales tactics.

Palmer seeks a jury trial and damages for lost wages and benefits, front and back pay, interest, and attorneys’ fees. He is represented by Charleston attorneys Michael A. Olivio and Stephanie H.D. Mullett of the Olivio Law Firm PLLC and by Mark A. Atkinson and John-Mark Atkinson of Atkinson & Polak PLLC.

Judge Charles E. King is assigned to the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case number 16-C-324

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