Search Site
Menu

Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Trinity Results in $663 Million Verdict

A Texas federal judge issued a $663 million verdict against Trinity Industries Inc. following a jury’s decision that the company was guilty of committing fraud against the U.S. government by knowingly selling it unsafe guardrails.

The judge tripled a previous $175 million verdict and assessed more than $138 million in penalties. Whistleblower Joshua Harman received a $199 million commission for being the sole defendant in the case. His 30 percent commission was followed by an award of over $16 million in legal fees, $2.3 million in expenses, and about $177,000 in taxable costs. Following the verdict, the U.S. government received an award of $464 million.

The government did not participate in the case. The whistleblower’s attorney claimed he did not know why the government did not enter the suit, but that its absence made his efforts more challenging.

In 2012, Harman’s False Claims Act complaint alleged that Trinity falsified claims about the crash tests conducted on its ET-Plus guardrail. He argued that evidence demonstrates that the company purposefully withheld safety information from the government and had patterns of unlawful activity.

A Trinity spokesperson stated that the company believes fraud was not committed and that there were significant mistakes made by the court, resulting in a verdict, which should be reversed. The company has also stated that it plans to challenge the ruling, and possibly take its argument to the court of appeals.

Following the suit, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston office are both investigating the nature of the relationship between Trinity and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Trinity claims the FHWA approved the guardrail model as compliant, but Harman’s attorney insisted evidence points to the contrary.

If you are considering filing a report on unlawful activity against the government, speak with Steve Kardell at Whistleblower Law for Managers today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    #600
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
Testimonials
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.

FOLLOW US
Facebook Twitter Linkedin RSS Feed JD Supra