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A New Jersey Superior Court jury has awarded a former C&S Wholesale Grocers employee $1.2 million, agreeing with his allegations that the company retaliated against him after he complained that the refrigeration system he worked on was not in compliance with environmental rules.

The man, Steven Sommese, said that after he pointed out that the equipment violated the federal Clean Air Act, his supervisors accused him of lying and sabotaging the machinery himself, and then created an untenable work environment.

The jury awarded Sommese $188,000 for past wage loss, $752,000 for future wage loss and $275,000 for pain, suffering and emotional distress. The jury will decide punitive damages later this month.
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