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FraudBlawg Update: Canadian Company Pays for Defective Bullet-Proof Vests

February 16, 2010

In October, FraudBlawg reported that DoJ had filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against Canadian ballistic fabrics manufacturer, Lincoln Fabrics, Ltd., for contrinbuting to the defects in Zylon bullet-proof vests purchased by DoD to protect American soldiers. Less than three months later, DoJ announced today that Lincoln will pay $4 million to settle the allegations. In addition to use by the military, the “[un]bulletproof” vests were also sold to “various state, local, and/or tribal law enforcement agencies, who were partially reimbursed by the United States,” says DoJ. According to the allegations, the vests lost “ballistic capability quickly, especially when exposed to heat and humidity,” and the Canadian company was well aware of the problem when they supplied the Zylon:

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.

Lincoln’s settlement is part of a larger investigation of defective body armor and Zylon manufacturers, including six previous settlements and pending lawsuits against Toyobo Co., Honeywell Inc., Second Chance Body Armor, Inc. and First Choice Armor Inc. FraudBlawg previously reported on the prior settlements and pending lawsuits, here.

To report defense contracting fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.

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