St. Louis jury awards 175K to ex-police lab worker

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by AP

KMOV.com

Posted on May 28, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Updated Thursday, May 29 at 6:24 AM

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A St. Louis jury has awarded $175,000 to a former police chemist who says she was fired after complaining about drug testing errors at the city crime lab.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the jury deliberated for about five hours before reaching its verdict Thursday.

Ex-crime lab worker Margart Owens sued in May 2011 after she was fired the previous year, ending a 25-year career with the St. Louis Police Department. Owens alleged that her concerns about a co-worker's mistakes three years earlier led to her dismissal.

State prosecutors countered that Owens instead lost her job for disobeying orders by working on a homicide case when she was told drug cases should be her sole priority.  The Missouri Attorney General's Office represented the city police department at trial.

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