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Safeshred, Inc. fired Louis Martinez after he refused to drive a commercial vehicle he found to be unsafe and noncompliant with federal and state regulations. Martinez sued Safeshred, alleging he had been terminated for refusing to commit an illegal act. See Sabine Pilot Service, Inc. v. Hauck, 687 S.W.2d 733, 735 (Tex. 1985) (recognizing exception to at-will-employment doctrine when employee is fired for refusal to commit illegal act). After a jury trial, the trial court entered judgment awarding Martinez $7,569.18 in economic damages for lost wages and benefits, $10,000 in compensatory damages for non-economic losses, including mental anguish, and $200,000 in exemplary damages. Safeshred appeals, arguing in five issues on appeal that (1) exemplary damages are not available in a Sabine Pilot cause of action absent the showing of an independent tort; (2) the evidence is legally and factually insufficient to prove malice, a predicate finding to an award of exemplary damages; (3) the amount of exemplary damages awarded is so excessive as to violate the United States Constitution and Texas law; (4) compensatory damages for mental anguish and related emotional losses are not available in a Sabine Pilot cause of action absent the showing of an independent tort; and (5) the evidence is legally and factually insufficient to support the award of compensatory damages. We affirm the awards of economic and exemplary damages and reverse the award of compensatory damages for non-economic losses.*fn1


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