5th Cir. summarily affirms bench trial judgment for Navy contractor

by bvernia | September 12th, 2009

In a per curiam opinion, US ex rel. Kessler v. Sigma Coatings USA B.V., Inc., 2009 WL 2900759 (5th Cir. Sep. 10, 2009), the Fifth Circuit affirmed ED La. District Judge Lemelle’s 2008 decision that the relator had failed to prove his FCA case at a bench trial.

The relator, a former manager for a Dutch company which sold paint and marine coatings, alleged that the company had overcharged the Navy by providing a better price to other customers. The defendant argued that the relator had shown only occasional marginal disparities and had no evidence of an intent to defraud the Navy.

The relator was represented by Randall Smith, Michael Warren Hill, and Hiawatha Northington, II, of Smith & Fawer LLP in New Orleans. Sigma Coatings’ counsel was Harry Rosenberg and Christopher K. Ralston of New Orleans’ Phelps Dunbar, LLP.

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