U.S. ex rel. Harman v. Trinity Industries, Inc.
- Case Date: 3/28/2016
- Project Name: Civil Justice Reform
On September 29, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overturned a $663 million False Claims Act judgment imposed on a manufacturer for allegedly defrauding the federal government by selling highway guardrails that allegedly did not comply with federal regulations. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed a brief urging reversal. The court agreed with WLF that plaintiffs’ lawyers should not be permitted to pursue FCA claims when (as here) federal government officials declare themselves fully satisfied with a contractor’s performance. The plaintiff competes with the defendant in the guardrail industry; he is purporting to sue in the name of the federal government to recover funds allegedly wrongfully paid to a government contractor. The court held that FCA liability is intended to root out actual fraud against the federal government, not to police compliance with every regulatory requirement imposed on a government contractor.
More Information and Downloads:
3/28/2016: Download the Brief