According to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California, a billion-dollar lawsuit against Raytheon Co. will proceed. The defense contractor is accused of fraudulently overbilling the U.S. federal government in a contract to develop weather sensors for environmental satellite systems.
The whistleblower is a former engineer for the company, and according to the court, he could pursue claims that the company engaged in regular False Claims Act violations stretching back as far as 2002, and perhaps even earlier.
Court documents indicate the whistleblower’s claims go far beyond publicly disclosed problems in developing this environmental satellite system, which had suffered some highly publicized cost overruns and delays as it was being designed. Should the whistleblower’s allegations be proven to be true, he stands to be awarded a tremendous amount of money for his role in exposing the fraud.
False Claims Act claims rely heavily on the evidence that whistleblowers present. Whistleblowers in these cases are able to pursue claims on behalf of the government and then take a cut of the money recovered in the suit as a reward. The United States decided in 2012 not to help this particular whistleblower pursue his case, but it appears the case is finally gaining traction and Raytheon will now have to defend it.
Whistleblowers who feel they need to fight back against retaliation may file a claim under the False Claims Act, which gives them a number of federally mandated protections. To learn more about these issues and to best protect your company, speak with a knowledgeable Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.