This case was last updated from PACER on 09/09/2021 at 07:52:39 (UTC).

Poon v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Case Summary

On September 8, 2021, Chi-Sang Poon (“Plaintiff”), represented by Avni J. Amin of Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch, P.C., filed a civil action against Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT” or “Defendant”), seeking compensatory and punitive damages, reinstatement of Plaintiff together with costs of litigation for alleged breach of contract and reputational harm caused by Defendant. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Massachusetts with Judge George A. O'Toole, Jr. presiding. 

 

In its complaint, Plaintiff alleged that “Plaintiff was discriminated against in the terms and conditions of his contractual employment, and of a Federal contract or grant (or competition for a Federal contract or grant) administered by MIT on his behalf as the PI, subjected to a hostile work environment and terminated by MIT after he engaged in protected activity.”

 

Plaintiff further alleged that “Plaintiff reasonably believed a contractor, subcontractor, grantee, or subgrantee engaged in misconduct involving a gross mismanagement of a Federal contract or grant (or competition for a Federal contract or grant), a gross waste of Federal funds, an abuse of authority relating to a Federal contract or grant (or competition for a Federal contract or grant), or a violation of law, rule, or regulation related to the Federal contract or grant (or competition for the Federal contract or grant).”

 

Plaintiff also alleged that “MIT interfered by threats, intimidation, or coercion, with the exercise of rights enjoyed by Plaintiff secured under the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, specifically, the right to petition the United States Government for redress of grievances, to communicate with a member of the United States Congress and cognizant officials of the United States Government about matters of Federal law, regulation, rule and policy, to make a protected communication to the Government or to officials at MIT or MGH about possible waste, fraud, or abuse of Federal grant funds, or to decline to authorize payment of invoices that, if paid as requested, would constitute a violation of Federal law and policy.”

 

Plaintiff even further alleged that “The terms and conditions of Plaintiff’s employment with MIT constituted a contract between MIT and Plaintiff. That contract included a provision signed by MIT that prevented MIT from terminating Plaintiff’s employment prior to end of the contract term of January 31, 2019.”

 

Plaintiff has laid down four claims for relief. The first claim is for alleged discrimination and retaliation in violation of 31 U.S.C. § 3730. The second claim is for retaliation in violation of 41 U.S.C. § 4712. The third claim is for alleged constitutional violations pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws. Ch. 12 §§ 11H, 11I and the last claim is for alleged breach of contract. 

 

In its prayer for relief, Plaintiff requested the court to adjudge that Defendant has breached the above provisions as alleged and also has breached the contract with Plaintiff. Plaintiff further requested the court to award Plaintiff back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, reinstate Plaintiff to the position of Senior Research Scientist, with salary increase commensurate with that rank and with compensatory funding support, together with interests and costs of litigation. 

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    1:21-CV-11468

  • Filing Date:

    09/08/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - False Claims Act

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

George A. OToole, Jr

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Chi-Sang Poon

Defendant

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

Avni J. Amin

Attorney at Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch, P.C.

818 Connecticut Ave, Nw, Suite 1000

Washington, DC 20006

 

Court Documents

#3

(#3) Summons Issued as to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Counsel receiving this notice electronically should download this summons, complete one for each defendant and serve it in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 4 and LR 4.1. Summons will be mailed to plaintiff(s) not receiving notice electronically for completion of service. (Burgos, Sandra) (Entered: 09/08/2021)

1 #2

Category Form

1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet (JS 44)

#1

(#1) COMPLAINT against Massachusetts Institute of Technology Filing fee: $ 402, receipt number 0101-8936637 (Fee Status: Filing Fee paid), filed by Chi-Sang Poon. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet (JS 44), #2 Category Form)(Amin, Avni) (Entered: 09/08/2021)

 

Docket Entries

  • 09/08/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#3) Summons Issued as to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Counsel receiving this notice electronically should download this summons, complete one for each defendant and serve it in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 4 and LR 4.1. Summons will be mailed to plaintiff(s) not receiving notice electronically for completion of service. (Burgos, Sandra) (Entered: 09/08/2021)

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  • 09/08/2021
  • Docket(#2) ELECTRONIC NOTICE of Case Assignment. Judge George A. OToole, Jr assigned to case. If the trial Judge issues an Order of Reference of any matter in this case to a Magistrate Judge, the matter will be transmitted to Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal. (Finn, Mary) (Entered: 09/08/2021)

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  • 09/08/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against Massachusetts Institute of Technology Filing fee: $ 402, receipt number 0101-8936637 (Fee Status: Filing Fee paid), filed by Chi-Sang Poon. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet (JS 44), #2 Category Form)(Amin, Avni) (Entered: 09/08/2021)

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