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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

United Technologies begins appeal of $664M False Claims Act judgment

By John O'Brien | Jan 16, 2014


CINCINNATI (Legal Newsline) - United Technologies has filed its appeal brief - albeit incorrectly - in a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by the United States that resulted in a $664 million judgment against the company.

The verdict, reached in June after a bench trial in federal court in Dayton, Ohio, was touted by the Department of Justice when it announced in December that Fiscal Year 2013 saw a record $3.8 billion recovered as a result of False Claims Act lawsuits.

The case against United Technologies was filed in 1999 and alleged it made false statements to the Air Force while negotiating a contract for fighter jet engines.

According to the appeal's docket at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the brief is not available because of errors contained within it.

"The brief which you submitted to the court does not comply with the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure or Sixth Circuit Rules," case manager Laura Jones wrote to United Technologies' attorney, Gregory Garre of Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C.

Marked as missing is a statement of the case that sets out the relevant facts and history with references to the record. Citations included in references to parts of the record are missing either a brief description of the document referenced, the docket entry number of the document or the page ID for the relevant pages.

United Technologies' attorneys must fix the errors by Jan. 23.

The lawsuit alleges Pratt and Whitney, which is United Technologies' predecessor-in-interest, violated the FCA by asserting its ceiling price quotes were lessened in its Best and Final Offer.

It was also ruled that Pratt and Whitney fraudulently asserted the prices it submitted were substantiated by the most recent data.

However, in 2008, the court found the government suffered no actual damages and that the government was precluded from pursuing common law claims.

On appeal, the Sixth Circuit ruled in 2010 that the common law claims were not precluded. It ordered the trial court to find what the government paid for jet engines and what it should have paid.

U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Rose ruled the government suffered nearly $109 million in damages. He then added $191 million in interest and $357 million in treble damages pursuant to the FCA.

With more than $7 million in penalties added, the total judgment came to $664,364,996.

The case was appealed in September, with mediation taking place in November.

From Legal Newsline: Reach editor John O'Brien at

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