Dr. Duane Bonds was our nation’s top researcher at the Nation Institutes of Health on sickle cell disease until she blew the whistle on the unauthorized cloning of participants’ cells. She eventually made a report to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) that human DNA was being illegally kept, stored, and used in violation of federal law. In addition, she reported the second-line supervisor was engaged in gross waste, fraud, and abuse. The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General investigated Bonds’ allegations and as a result the OSC determined that NIH officials had violated federal law. Dr. Bonds was terminated at the recommendation of the second line supervisor. Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto whistleblower attorneys represented Dr. Bonds in Equal Employment Opportunity complaints alleging discrimination and retaliation.
In January 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in Bonds v. Leavitt, 629 F.3d 369, 384 (4th Cir. 2011) that she had a right to a jury trial on her claims under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). Subsequently, her case was successfully settled and Dr. Bonds was fully vindicated.