Medal of honor recipient drops lawsuit against ex-employer

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 15, 2011 6:23 PM
Medal of honor recipient drops lawsuit against ex-employer

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer dropped on Thursday a lawsuit he had filed against his former employer alleging supervisors at the defense contractor mocked his heroism in battle in Afghanistan.

"BAE Systems OASIS and I have settled our difference amicably," Meyer said in a statement released by the company.

The lawsuit filed last month said Meyer, who in September became the first living Marine to be awarded the nation's highest award for battlefield valor since Vietnam, sent an e-mail to a supervisor to criticize the firm's plans to sell thermal visioning devices to the government of Pakistan.

Meyer was working as an adviser and consultant to the Virginia-based company.

After he sent the e-mail, the lawsuit said, the supervisor began harassing and berating him.

When Meyer attempted to get a job with another defense contractor, the suit said, the supervisor spread rumors Meyer was mentally unstable and had a drinking problem, allegations the lawsuit called "false, defamatory, and malicious."

Meyer said he filed a request on Thursday for dismissal of his lawsuit in state District Court in San Antonio, where it was filed November 28.

"We are pleased that we have reached closure in this matter," BAE Systems OASIS said in a statement.

The company has said the State Department, and not individual contractors, makes the decision on which items are exported.

Meyer said in the statement that he was "gratified to learn" that the company does not plan to sell the thermal scopes to Pakistan and has not done so.

The confrontations alleged in the lawsuit occurred after Meyer had been nominated for the Medal of Honor for heroism during a 2009 ambush in eastern Afghanistan, but before it had been awarded.

President Barack Obama awarded the medal to Meyer at the White House in September, where the two men also shared a beer.

"BAE Systems has the highest respect for Sgt. Meyer," the company said in the Thursday statement. "He exemplifies the qualities that make the men and women of our armed services the best in the world."

(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Jerry Norton)