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Company's Poop Investigation Costs It $2.2M

Georgia company was trying to figure out who pooped in its warehouse
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2015 11:33 AM CDT
Company's Poop Investigation Costs It $2.2M
No Sherlock Holmes here. The company never caught the defacator.   (Shutterstock)

It's like a modern-day Goldilocks, except instead of trying to figure out who's been sleeping in its bed, a Georgia company wanted to know who's been pooping in its warehouse. In an effort to solve its 2012 mystery, Atlas Logistics Group Retail Services—which operates warehouses that store products en route to grocery stores—swabbed some of its employees to collect their DNA. Jack Lowe and Dennis Reynolds were two of them, and their DNA didn't match that taken from the poop, which had been found in the aisles and on canned goods. So they sued. Courthouse News Service reports that they cited the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which "generally prohibits" a company from asking its workers to hand over their genetic info.

Last month, US District Judge Amy Totenberg determined Atlas did indeed seek and obtain such info as outlined by GINA, even though the test didn't disclose any medical details. She denied Atlas' motion for summary judgement, and the New York Times spoke to legal experts who believed this to be the only case involving GINA to go to trial. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the men were on Monday handed a total of $475,000 in compensatory damages for pain and suffering and $1.75 million in punitive damages; GINA has a $600,000 cap on such damages, however, meaning the amount could ultimately be reduced. The company's lawyer is not pleased: Dion Kohler says the men produced "very little evidence ... of emotional injury," and as for the punitive damages, which are intended to dissuade Atlas and others from repeating the transgression, Kohler says there's no need. His own firm had incorrectly told Atlas the tests were legal; "this was a one-time deal." The pooper was never IDed. (More poop stories.)

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