Judge Dismisses Whistleblower Retaliation and Related Claims Against Seven Partners of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP


Hueston Hennigan LLP secured a partial dismissal of a lawsuit against the public accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and seven of its partners in Botta v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP et al, 18-CV02615 (N.D. Cal) (Seeborg, J.).

Plaintiff Mauro Botta, a former employee, sued PwC and its partners for allegedly taking retaliatory and otherwise improper actions in response to complaints made about PwC’s auditing practices. He brought three whistleblower retaliation claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and California law, a defamation claim, a breach of contract claim, and a claim for wrongful termination.

In a comprehensive order granting the defendants’ motions to dismiss, Judge Seeborg dismissed all claims against all seven PwC partners with prejudice.  This ruling represents a complete victory for the individual defendants.

As noted in the Daily Journal, Seeborg’s ruling preserves claims against PwC “for retaliation, defamation, breach of contract, and wrongful termination.” John Hueston said, “we are optimistic that Jude Seeborg will agree these claims lack all merit later in the proceedings.”

The Hueston Hennigan team included partner John Hueston, and associates Joe Reiter and Yegor Fursevich.

The Daily Journal covered the full story on Wednesday, October 10, 2018.

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