A federal judge has ruled that a soldier returning from Iraq who sued his employer under the federal Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act cannot pursue punitive damages under a separate state tort claim for wrongful discharge.

"Pennsylvania common law precludes plaintiff from bringing a public policy claim when USERRA offers its own remedy," Senior U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter wrote in his 12-page opinion in McAlee v. Independence Blue Cross .

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