by Ben Vernia | December 16th, 2015
On December 9, the Department of Justice announced that Lousiana-based Bollinger Shipyards had agreed to pay $8.5 million and release contract claims to resolve a civil suit brought by DOJ alleging that the company misrepresented the strength of patrol boats it built for the Coast Guard. According to DOJ’s press release:
Bollinger Shipyards will pay the United States $8.5 million and release contract claims to settle a False Claims Act action filed against it in the Eastern District of Louisiana, the Department of Justice announced today. The False Claims Act suit alleges that Bollinger misrepresented the longitudinal strength of patrol boats it delivered to the Coast Guard that resulted in the boats buckling and failing once they were put into service. Bollinger Shipyards is located in Lockport, Louisiana.
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In 2002, the U.S. Coast Guard contracted to lengthen the Coast Guard’s existing fleet of 110-foot patrol boats to 123 feet and to make other modifications. Bollinger was the subcontractor that performed the 123-foot patrol boat design and conversion work. An essential element of the conversion was that the modified boats have sufficient longitudinal strength to meet the performance requirements set forth in the contract. The United States alleged Bollinger provided the Coast Guard with engineering calculations that falsely represented the longitudinal strength of the boats and was two times greater than their actual longitudinal strength. The United States alleged Bollinger ran the calculations three times and only provided the Coast Guard with the highest and most inaccurate, of the three calculations. The United States further alleged Bollinger also failed to follow the quality control procedures that were mandated by the contract that would have ensured against such engineering miscalculations.
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