A federal jury in Maine this week awarded a former foreman for Springfield Terminal Railway Co. $400,000 after finding that he was wrongfully fired for protesting a supervisor’s orders to force an untrained worker to clean up a 2011 chemical spill in North Yarmouth.

At the end of a four-day trial in U.S. District Court in Portland presided over by Judge Nancy Torresen, the jury on Thursday awarded Jason Worcester $150,000 in back pay and compensation and $250,000 in punitive damages.

Worcester, who had worked in the railway’s signal department for 16 years, filed a federal whistleblower complaint, then a federal lawsuit against the company after being fired on Nov. 28, 2011.

The railway carrier accused Worcester of being insubordinate, quarrelsome, critical of the company and interfering with performance at a work site at Field Road and East Elm Street in North Yarmouth on Oct. 7, 2011, a day after 20 to 50 gallons of hydraulic fluid were spilled onto the railroad bed, according to court records.

An assistant superintendent for the railway, Kenneth Pelletier, ordered a company trainee with little experience, Jeff Butland, to operate an excavator to clean up the spill, both sides agreed in court filings.

Worcester arrived, stopped Butland from operating the excavator and talked with an investigator from the state Department of Environmental Protection who was at the site. Pelletier then ordered Worcester to leave the work site,

The DEP investigator, Ann Hemenway, testified at a court deposition in 2013 under questioning by Worcester’s attorney, Marc Wietzke, that while Worcester was politely talking to her about the chemical spill, Pelletier confronted her in a “very loud” and aggressive manner and began yelling at her, according to the transcript of the deposition.

“Mr. Worcester was terminated for doing what he felt necessary to protect the safety of an employee under his charge until he could get answers showing the safety concerns were being met,” Wietzke said in a 2012 whistleblower complaint to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Worcester, Pelletier, Butland and Hemenway were among more than a dozen witnesses called to testify at the trial, according to court records.

Wietzke did not return a phone message left with his Garden City, New York, law office on Friday seeking comment.

An attorney for Springfield Terminal Railway, Megan Randlett of the Bangor law firm Eaton Peabody, also did not return a phone message Friday.

Springfield Terminal Railway is a subsidiary of Pan Am Railways, which is based in Billerica, Massachusetts. Pan Am is the largest railroad company in New England.