Dan Hartzog, Jr. obtained summary judgment on all claims in a lawsuit brought by a firefighter against a City.

The case involved a firefighter who was terminated after a loaded gun was discovered in his locker on City grounds. Plaintiff alleged that it was common practice for firefighters to possess firearms on city property, and alleged that the real reason for his termination was retaliation for complaints he had made to city council members about the fire department and the fire chief in particular. Following his grievance, the plaintiff was reinstated at a lower pay grade and his termination was converted into unpaid leave.

He brought a lawsuit against the City and various City officials claiming wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, and violations of his free speech rights under the U.S. and N.C. Constitutions. Following discovery, the defendants moved for summary judgment, which was granted on the grounds that plaintiff was unable to establish a causal connection between his alleged protected speech and the decision to terminate his employment.

The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer's or law firm's past results.


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