Company Pays $137,500 To Resolve False Claims Act Violations—Allegedly Fraudulently Certified OSHA Compliance
On July 18th, 2022, the United States Attorneys’ Office for the District of Connecticut announced that McClain & Company, Inc.—a contracting company based in Culpeper County, Virginia—has agreed to pay $137,500 to resolve a False Claims Act lawsuit. The company allegedly paid a third party entity to falsify certificates of inspection for its vehicles. Here, our False Claims Act whistleblower lawyer provides a more detailed overview of the settlement agreement and explains your rights/options if you believe that you know about ongoing federal government program fraud.
Government Program Fraud: Falsified Certificates of Vehicle Inspections
McClain & Company, Inc. has contracts with the U.S. federal government. As part of these contracts, the Virginia-based company provides under bridge inspection vehicles. There are certain safety standards that must be satisfied for under bridge inspection for federal projects. In 2015, one of the under bridge inspection trucks owned and operated by McClain & Company, Inc. was involved in a serious accident in West Hartford, Connecticut. A 43-year-old worker was killed in the incident.
An investigation in the workplace fatality eventually uncovered the fact that McClain & Company, Inc. under bridge inspection truck was not, itself, properly inspected. This despite the fact that documentation stating otherwise has been provided to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). The Department of Justice (DOJ) determined that the contractor paid a third party to falsify vehicle inspection records. The company has now agreed to pay $137,500 to resolve the civil False Claims Act liability.
Many False Claims Act Lawsuits are Initiated By Whistleblowers
The federal government—as well as state and local governments—rely heavily on contractors. It is imperative that contractors follow their obligations under the terms of the agreement, including billing properly and providing the goods and services that they say they are providing. Governments often lack the resources to evaluate a contractor’s performance, especially in regards to complex matters like workplace safety, healthcare billing, and defense contractor services.
The False Claims Act contains a provision that allows a private individual to come forward as a whistleblower and to take legal action on behalf of the taxpayers. This type of False Claims Act whistleblower lawsuit is known as a qui tam claim. When a whistleblower brings a successful qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act, he or she is entitled to a percentage (15 to 30) of the ultimate financial recovery. In addition, if the whistleblower is an employee of the contractor, he or she is protected against any retaliatory action by the employer.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Whistleblower Protection Lawyer
At Guttman, Freidin & Celler, our whistleblower protection attorneys are skilled, knowledgeable, and reliable advocates for our clients. If you have knowledge of government program fraud, we are here to help you file a qui tam claim and recover the full financial award you are due under the law. For a free, confidential case review, please contact us today. We provide nationwide legal guidance and support to whistleblowers in False Claims Act lawsuits.