A jury awarded over $39 million last week to a former University of California, San Diego, doctor who alleged that the university tried to redirect a $10 million gift for his research into a general gift to a cancer center and retaliated against him when he spoke up.
Dr. Kevin Murphy, a former department vice chair, “has persistently asserted for the past seven years” that the “University of California attempted to steal” the money, according to a news release from a Murphy spokesperson.
“When he decided to speak out against these irregularities, he claimed that top officials initiated a public smear campaign against him, which has escalated,” the release said.
It says UC San Diego didn’t renew his contract in 2020. That year, Dr. Murphy sued the UC Board of Regents, alleging whistle-blower retaliation.
The release said the board countersued and the court consolidated the cases for an eight-week trial, after which the jury only awarded the system $67,000.
“This verdict reveals the truth behind UCSD’s attempts to retaliate and defame him for simply doing the right thing," said Mark Quigley, Dr. Murphy’s lead trial lawyer, in the release.
A UC spokesperson declined comment Friday.