Another settlement in DOJ's False Claims Act investigation of bulletproof vests

by Ben Vernia | February 12th, 2010

The Department of Justice announced on February 12 that a Canadian weaver of bulletproof fabric, Lincoln Fabrics, Ltd., and its American subsidiary have agreed to pay the US $4 million to resolve False Claims Act claims arising from the sale of material containing Zylon manufactured by Toyoba Corp., and sold as fabric to several manufacturers of bulletproof vests.

According to DOJ:

The United States alleged that the Zylon in these vests lost its ballistic capability quickly, especially when exposed to heat and humidity. The United States further alleged that Lincoln was aware of the defective nature of the Zylon by at least December 2001, but continued to sell Zylon for use in ballistic armor until August 2005, when the National Institute of Justice issued a report that Zylon degraded quickly in ballistic applications. At that time, all American body armor manufacturers stopped using Zylon in body armor.

DOJ filed suit against Lincoln Fabrics in October, 2009. The case follows by three weeks an announcement by DOJ that it was dedicated $11 million recovered in the investigation to the federal Bulletproof Vest Program, which assists state and local law enforcement in purchasing the protective gear.

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