by Ben Vernia | April 27th, 2016
On March 7, the Department of Justice announced that Ohio-based Armorsource, LLC, had agreed to pay $3 million to resolve a whistleblower’s allegations that the company provided defective combat helmets to the U.S. Army. According to DOJ’s press release:
ArmorSource, LLC has agreed to pay $3 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations in connection with a contract to provide combat helmets to the U.S. Army, the Department of Justice announced today. ArmorSource, a Delaware Limited Liability Company headquartered in Hebron, Ohio, designs, develops and manufactures ballistic helmets for military and law enforcement personnel worldwide.
In 2006, the Army contracted with ArmorSource to manufacture the Advanced Combat Helmet or ACH for use by soldiers in combat. ACH helmets are made of Kevlar, an armored material, and are worn to provide ballistic protection for the soldier. The United States alleged that from 2006 to 2009, ArmorSource delivered ACH helmets to the Army that were manufactured and tested using methods that did not conform to contract requirements and that failed to meet contract performance standards. In May 2010, the Army began recalling the helmets after several lots failed ballistic safety tests.
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The case was unusual in that the defense contractor in question had subcontracted the helmets’ manufacturing to a federal entity – Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (d/b/a Unicor) – for which the qui tam relators worked. The two whistleblowers will receive $450,000 of the settlement (a 15% relator’s share) the Government announced.