The retaliation lawsuit of a whistleblower, Joseph Harrington, who reported the use of substandard concrete by his employer, Aggregate Industries - Northeast Region, Inc, on Boston's "Big Dig" project has been reinstated by the federal appeals court in Boston. Harrington filed a whistleblower lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act claiming that Aggregate Industries was defrauding the federal government, because it was providing substandard concrete that did not meet the contract specifications. The False Claims Act lawsuit was settled for $50 million. The day after the settlement was signed off on, Harrington was fired. The appeals court ruled that this suspicious timing raised a fact issue for a jury to decide whether Harrington was fired in retaliation for whistleblowing regarding the substandard concrete or for the reason offered by the employer. The case is Harrington v. Aggregate Industries - Northeast Region, No 11-1511 (February 7, 2012).
Source: Massachusetts Legal Weekly blog
The federal False Claims Act applies where a federal government contractor or supplier is defrauding the government by failing to provide services that are billed for, overcharging for services that were provided, providing substandard or out-of-spec materials and billing for standard materials and many other ways as this blog has previously reported. Whistleblowers who report such wrongdoing and file suit over this fraudulent action can retain 15-25% of the money that is recovered from the company.
Lexington, Kentucky lawyer Robert Abell represents whistleblowers in cases under the federal False Claims Act; if you know of a federal government contractor or supplier that is cheating or defrauding the federal government contact him at 859-254-7076.