In final bulletproof vest settlement, Honeywell to pay $3.35 million

by Ben Vernia | October 26th, 2022

On October 26, the Department of Justice announced that Honeywell had agreed to settle allegations that the company provided defective material for use in bulletproof vests for law enforcement. According to DOJ’s press release:

Honeywell International Inc. (Honeywell), headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, has agreed to pay $3.35 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by selling defective material for bullet proof vests used by law enforcement officers, the Justice Department announced today.  

The United States alleged that, between 2000 and 2005, Honeywell sold its patented Z Shield material to Armor Holdings, a bullet proof vest manufacturer, despite Honeywell knowing that Z Shield degraded quickly over time in heat and humidity and was not suitable for ballistic use. Armor Holdings’ vests containing Honeywell’s Z Shield were purchased by federal agencies under a General Services Administration (GSA) contract, and by various state, local and Tribal law enforcement authorities that were partially funded by the Justice Department’s Bulletproof Vest Partnership program. 

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The settlement concludes over a decade of litigation and ends the Justice Department’s long-running investigation of the body armor industry’s sale of defective Zylon bullet proof vests to the government. The United States previously recovered over $133 million in settlements with 17 entities and individuals involved in all stages of the body armor supply chain. 

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The case apparently arose from a government investigation, rather than a whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit.

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